NORMAN, Okla.--I've been in this business a long time, as you might deduce by looking at my column mug. And I've tracked down many a coaching rumor, true and false, over the past 40 years. But this may be the first time I've heard a coach deny something--and at the same time say he wishes it were true.
So it was Tuesday with Oklahoma offensive coordinator Kevin Wilson, a worthy candidate for any job out there, believe me. The word had been circulation all day that a search firm previously had contacted Wilson's agent about the vacancy at Clemson. That Clemson AD Terry Don Phillips had flown to Oklahoma City to follow up with a face-to-face after Tuesday's practice. A rumor fuelled by the fact that Wilson didn't show up for his normal noonday gig with the media. And in fact, two news organizations confirmed that Phillips' private plane indeed had landed in OKC late in the day with Phillips on it. But he's not here to see him, Wilson said Tuesday evening after OU's practice.
"I would love to say there is some truth (to it)," Wilson told reporters. "As God is my witness, I haven't heard from a person. And I don't have an agent, so nobody has been contacting my people because I don't have any people. I'm doing my gig and I'm doing it hard."
Wilson said that OU coach Bob Stoops had dropped in earlier in the day to ask the same question reporters were asking, finding Wilson working on an early draft for a play script for next week's game with Texas Tech. That evidently being the reason Wilson didn't show at the media luncheon.
"(Stoops) said, 'Hey, I've got people calling me. You would have told me, right?'"
Wilson quickly assured his boss he would have been in the loop had there been a loop.
"There is a way to go about it," Wilson added. "The real deal is this is a great job and the real deal is they are hard to find."
So take it for what you will. The real question is, if not Wilson, who is Phillips (formerly the AD at Oklahoma State) in town to see? Feel free to start the rumor of your choice. Rivals.com reported last night it was defensive coordinator Brent Venables who was talking with Phillips. Venables did not show up as requested after Tuesday's practice. Department spokesman Kenny Mossman said Venables left campus right after practice for home to be with his family. Venables' wife gave birth to a girl Friday.--Mike Jones.