Jones spent four hours in West Lafayette and brought his wife along for the trip yesterday...a day later (today), he spent six hours at Colorado...brought his wife again.
Colorado was very public with their thoughts about the interview...perhaps that was because they had reason to be confident (read as a contract signed)...perhaps not. The called today's meetings "very productive."
|Jones seeking a home where the Buffs roam?|
There's wiggle room in this process and that's by design...agents are smart enough to take what they're given...if it's silence, it can be used to help their client...if there's talk, it can be used too. We saw this in Painter's re-negotiations...we're seeing it now as Purdue seeks to find its next head football coach.
In Painter's case, "Buddy" Baker didn't want Purdue to look dumb at the end of the day in order for his client(s) to make money...so he negotiated and pulled strings that helped three of his clients get raises...all as Painter sat back and had Mizzou chase him, and finally Burke had to pony up.
In the football coach candidate case, there are still rumors that Jones is a target of University of Tennessee...probably perpetuated by Trace Armstrong; who, by the way is OK with making Purdue look like a pawn as he and his client make a play for extra cheddar.
Back in 1996, Burke sought Bob Davie and landed on Joe Tiller. That ending was A-OK for Burke and the university.
This time, he wanted Butch Jones...and it sure seems like he's not landing for good in West Lafayette either. The signs are pointing to Darrell Hazell as the guy now...Burke's not standing pat as Jones seeks a prettier girl. In fact, the trustees' plane took a trip to Akron this afternoon...which is about 20 miles from Kent State's campus. Then this evening, GBI reported via Twitter that Darrell Hazell is "very much in play"...according to a source.
Hazell took over for Doug Martin at Kent State. In those seven seasons prior to Hazell's last two years, Kent State's best record was 6-6. After a 5-7 first season...Hazell's flashes were 11-2 this season. Kent State's program wins about 39% of their games historically...and has been to two bowls prior to being invited to the GoDaddy.Com Bowl this season.
Hazell was asked today about being named in connection with other program openings...he said nothing to deny it...nothing to confirm it; feels like we've heard this before.
Hazell is 48 years old, has coached from the East Coast to the Midwest and is originally from New Jersey. He went to a small school in Ohio for college and spent most of his coaching years, 7 seasons, at aOSU coaching a ton of very good wide receivers and even being Tressell's Assistant head coach.
A few days ago, it was Jones, then DeRuyter was the second fiddle in this contest...a week ago Jones, Dykes and Doeren...and today Hazell has floated to the top of this nebulous list. I guess we'll all know soon what's truth and what's conjecture...hope to, anyway.