Texas strongly denying report that DeLoss Dodds is to retire

Erich Schlegel

One of head football coach Mack Brown's biggest supporters could be on the way out.

Update: Here's an even more strongly worded denial by Texas.

University of Texas athletic director DeLoss Dodds, who voiced his support for head football coach Mack Brown on Wednesday, will retire at the end of the year, according to Chip Brown of orangebloods.com. He'll reportedly move into an administrative role. The university is denying the report.

Dodds has held his position in Austin for more than 30 years, taking over as AD in the fall of 1981. During his time at Texas, the Longhorns have won 13 total national championships, including college football's BCS title in 2005. UT has won seven conference titles under Dodds -- four in the old Southwest Conference and three since joining the Big 12. If Dodds really is gone at the end of the year, that could be bad news for the embattled Brown:

Flustered Texas fans at Barking Carnival are referring to the move as "step one" in the process of overhauling Longhorns athletics, while Burnt Orange Nation is tracking the rumored list of early replacement candidates, based on Orangebloods' reporting.

If a vote of confidence for a troubled head coach is commonly issued in the time leading up to a firing, Brown must be a nervous man, especially if the one issuing the vote of confidence is himself on the way out. In addition to Dodds' support, booster Joe Jamail and school president Bill Powers spoke in the coach's favor on Friday.

Jamail, a Houston attorney valued at an estimated net worth of $1.5 billion -- yes, that's billion with a "B" -- spoke to the Austin American-Statesman to sing Brown's praises:

"Mack's still enthusiastic and thinks we've still got a good chance to win this conference," Jamail told the American-Statesman on Friday morning. "I watched about five minutes of the Tech-TCU game last night, and they couldn't beat my (bleeping) grade school."

Powers told the Associated Press that Brown had a "bad week" and is "trying to fix it."

Brown isn't the only coach who could be affected by the reported athletic director's retirement. Men's basketball coach Rick Barnes, whom Dodds hired in 1998, has been underperforming recently in the eyes of many Texas faithful, and his job could be in jeopardy, as well.

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