UPDATE #6: It's over. He gone.
UPDATE #5: Now both Dave Sittler and SoonerScoop (who is saying BV contacted them directly) are saying that Venables confirmed reports about Clemson are not true. Speculation now is that he's staying. This is crazy!
UPDATE #4: Roy Philpott who covers Clemson is saying on Twitter that "a contract for Brent Venables has been sent to the Clemson Board of Trustees for approval."
UPDATE #3: As pitbull (no, not that one. our pitbull, the talented one.) pointed out in the comments, Dave Sittler is at it again on Twitter. Part of me thinks this is just BV's agent using Sittler as a mouthpiece to pressure OU to upping their $$$ offer, but the other part of me wonders what good that would really do at this point. It's not like BV is still in Clemson or OU is unaware of Clemson's interest in BV. To be honest, at this point I feel like if he wasn't going he would have said so by now. Doesn't necessarily mean I think he's a goner now, but I did think it would have been resolved by now. If we don't hear anything by the end of the day today (Wednesday) IMO it could be a bad sign for him staying at OU.
UPDATE #2: Well now Mr. Sittler is saying (or hedging?) that a deal is not necessarily imminent because Swinney wants to interview Randy Shannon. He's also tweeting that there is a flight from S.C. to OKC for tonight which he's clearly assuming is Venables coming back to OK.
UPDATE: Well, it looks like I might have been wrong. If the talk of him meeting Clemson recruits is true then I'd have to think it's just a matter of time before his departure becomes official. I'll also say if this plays out as it appears it might, then there is no possible way for Bob to spin this in a positive manner. This isn't a lateral move, no offense Clemson fans but you're not in our league as a program, so I'm not sure how you can sell it as anything other than a guy angry enough to leave an employer that he's been with for 13+ years to take a lesser position.
Sure you're making more money, but when has anything you're read and/or heard from Brent Venables struck you as a guy who was in this for the money? Maybe he feels like his work here at OU wasn't getting him to where he wants to be (i.e. a head coaching job) which would be hard to argue against. He's had chances, but to date obviously hasn't been able to land that gig.
If this proves to be true, as a fan of Oklahoma I'll be pretty disappointed. While I absolutely respect a man's decision to do what he feels is best for him and his family, I can't help but feel he's leaving for all the wrong reasons. We'll see how things play out, but this latest development doesn't not bode well at all for Venables return to Norman.
Earlier in the week Dave Sittler of the Tulsa World started spreading rumors on Twitter that several schools (Clemson, WVU, and Tennessee among others) were pursuing Venables. One by one all the suitors began to eliminate themselves with the most serious two remaining contenders being West Virginia and Clemson. Word came on Friday/Saturday that Venables had withdrawn his name from consideration for the WVU job. So now, here we sit with Clemson as the lone suitor according to reports. And a formidable one at that if the reports can be believed. Among the things being rumored of late are that Venables doesn't even have to interview for the job. Supposedly it's his if he wants it and yet another rumor is if he were to take it, Clemson would be willing to double his salary.
We heard late on Friday that both Venables and newly returned Mike Stoops had left on a recruiting trip together and now reports are that this "trip" may have included a stop in South Carolina for Venables to meet with Clemson officials. If they are to be believed, rumors are that Venables could come to a decision whether or not to accept Clemson's offer as soon as Sunday.
So with all of that, where does it leave us you might be asking. Obviously, at this point, only Brent Venables knows for sure but I've got a hunch this is more about getting a bump in pay from Oklahoma than it is about taking another job. Now obviously I could be proven wrong if news comes out Sunday or in the days to follow that Venables has decided to leave Norman after 13 years of loyal service. However, I just don't see that happening.
For several reasons actually, but one in particular that I've heard Carey Murdock of SoonerScoop bring up several times this week. Venables was originally in consideration for the Clemson job before they chose to go with Dabo Swinney. He has a good and known relationship with Clemson A.D. Terry Don Phillips. All that said, at least to some degree Clemson chose Swinney over Venables so why would Brent want to go work for the guy that Clemson chose over him?
I get the money part of it (if the rumors are true of course), but don't for a second think that Bob can't go to the OU admins and get a raise for his friend and fellow coach. Maybe it's not as much as Clemson is offering, but if it's money he wants he can get it from either university. So to me, it comes down to a simple question.
Is Venables pissed off, or insulted, or whatever words you want to use, about Mike Stoops return and his perceived demotion that he bolts?
I'd venture to guess that he and Bob have a good enough relationship that Bob will give him the time to explore all his options. But I also do not believe that Bob will allow this to turn into another Willie Martinez situation, allowing the thing to drag on and on. I'd expect, one way or another, we get some kind of news in the next couple days. If I had to guess I'd say he stays at Oklahoma, gets a healthy raise, then he and Mike get to work on putting some bite back into this OU defense.