After two days of little movement but plenty of rumors surrounding the status of Texas Longhorns head coach Mack Brown, the first substantive report emerged early Tuesday afternoon:
BREAKING: High-ranking source tells me decision on Mack Brown's future expected in next "48 hours".— Bobby Burton (@BobbyBurton247) December 10, 2013
Perhaps not coincidentally, there's a Board of Regents meeting set for Thursday with one of the items on the agenda a discussion regarding the employment of university president Bill Powers.
As many are no doubt aware, Powers has been engaged in a battle with members of the Board of Regents loyal to governor Rick Perry, including Wallace Hall, the regent who participated in the infamous conversation with Jimmy Sexton, the agent for Alabama Crimson Tide head coach Nick Saban.
It's possible that the discussion of Powers' employment may also result in a discussion about the job status of Brown, assuming there's been no resolution at that time. However, nothing about athletics is on the agenda, which could complicate such a discussion.
There's growing concern that Powers could stand in the way of Brown's removal as head coach because the two have been close, leading to images like this one emerging:
@Texas0205 In my inbox this morning. "I'll never let go, Mack!" pic.twitter.com/alrQywSVmx— Eric T (@Taylor_UT) December 10, 2013
They do look cute together, no?
The wildcard in the Powers-Brown dynamic is new athletic director Steve Patterson, viewed as an agent of change in the month since he was named as the successor to longtime athletic director DeLoss Dodds. Patterson has officially been on the job since the start of the month and had his first opportunity to sit down with Brown during a three-hour meeting on Sunday evening on the way to New York for National Football Foundation functions.
A source told the Dallas Morning News that the meeting was "positive and productive," though that sounds like the type of spin that the school would want out there at this time with no resolution regarding Brown's status.
Considering the timing, the regents coming after Powers again, even though there likely isn't a fifth vote to oust him as president, could be a move designed to put pressure on the university president to get rid of Brown or risk having pressure ratcheted up concerning his own employment.
If that does end up being the case, the major remaining impediment would be Brown and possibly a faction of boosters like Joe Jamail, who represents Brown and was acting as his mouthpiece over the weekend leaking talk of interest from another school and bashing Case McCoy for his incredibly terrible performance against Baylor, blaming the noodle-armed quarterback for the loss.
Brown digging in and refusing to resign could make things difficult for Powers and call into question who exactly is making the decisions around the 40 Acres.
Let's hope it doesn't come to that and Brown goes out the easy way, without further tarnishing his already-crumbling legacy.