Oklahoma defensive coordinator Brent Venables indeed did interview Tuesday night with Clemson athletic director Terry Don Phillips, according to a source with knowledge, but that's likely all we're going to hear about it for some time now.
In keeping with policy of other Sooners assistants who have had in-season interviews, Venables as much as he can likely will say very little about it. He's not returning phone calls and he's not issued any denials. But he will have to address the situation in some manner next week when media availability again opens on Monday.
How much will knowledge of his interview affect his players? I don't know. That's something we may not know, something that may not figure into any day-to-day preparation as the huge game with Texas Tech looms next week. Coach V's players do respect him, that much I know. And there is always the possibility that nothing may come of this. Clemson may actually be shooting higher than an assistant coach, any assistant coach. That because of the shadow of Steve Spurrier down the road at South Carolina--if he hangs around there much longer--though Phillips may be smarter than to hire a name without deeper thought. He's not smart enough, however, to figure out that anybody with the tail number on the university plane and a laptop can trace its whereabouts by the hour.
There is also the possibility that if offered Venables may decide to stay, though this is a job he might not be able to turn down, infant daughter notwithstanding. One thing we do know, Venables would not have taken this step without the blessing of Bob Stoops. When things like this come up, Stoops' office is the first stop any of his assistants make--both out of respect and for his counsel. Stoops gets it, from the kind of culture in which one would be raising his family to the degree of difficulty of recruiting to any given program. He knows the difference in a job and a job with possibilities.
Venables has a reputation as persuasive recruiter as well as a respected tactician, the opinion of half of OU's fans who don't understand today's game notwithstanding. But if there isn't some movement between now and then, keep your ears open before and after Big 12 championship game week.--Mike Jones.