AUSTIN, Texas -- Texas athletic director DeLoss Dodds went on the offensive Sunday to knock down rumors that football coach Mack Brown is retiring or being forced out after a 7-5 season, saying the program and coach are in for the "long haul" together.
"Anything you are hearing, absolutely nothing about it is true," Dodds told The Associated Press by telephone on Sunday from New York, where he and Brown plan to attend Tuesday's college football hall of fame banquet.
Dodds and Brown flew to New York together and Dodds was responding to Internet rumors that surfaced in recent days that said the 14-year coach would retire or be forced out after this season.
"I can't even imagine why someone would start something like this," Dodds said. "It's just something we want to put to bed. It's certainly not the truth. And people ought to be more careful about what they are reporting.
Texas (7-5) lost 48-24 at Baylor on Saturday, the Longhorns' third loss in four games.
Brown, one of the highest paid coaches in the country at $5.2 million per year under a contract that runs through 2016, is 140-39 in 14 seasons at Texas. He is 12-12 over the last two years with consecutive losing seasons in the Big 12.
After a 5-7 finish in 2010, Brown's first losing season at Texas, he overhauled his staff, hiring six new assistants, and Texas improved this season despite a rash of injuries that ravaged the offense in the second half of the season.
Dodds said he hopes his comments will end the rumors that Brown is leaving, voluntarily or otherwise. Dodds said he didn't know why they would start in the first place.
"I've never seen him more energized and excited about the future," Dodds said. "We just need to get some kids older and get over some injuries ... I just want to shut (the rumors) down."
Rumors of Brown's departure first rippled last week after Texas beat rival Texas A&M in the last game of the 118-year series. After the loss to Baylor, Brown joked the defeat would spark even more and he was right.
"There'll probably be a lot more after tonight," Brown said. "When I do retire, it won't come from a twit, a Twitter, in Topeka, Kansas. I want to coach for a long time.
"I like the fight out of these kids. We didn't play good tonight, but I saw enough good things that we have enough things to build on. We knew this was a year where we'd have to grab and hold on and try to build and start over. I really disrupted everything in this program this year," Brown said.
Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press
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