With all of the rumors swirling around the internet about the fate of Dan Hawkins', it looks like University of Colorado Athletic Director Mike Bohn has heard enough and will make an "an official announcement about the football coaching situation" Thursday. According to Ryan Thornburn of the Boulder Daily Camera who spoke to Mike Bohn while covering the Colorado Buffaloes basketball team in Maui, the AD will catch a flight home late tonight and sit down with Dan Hawkins tomorrow to discuss his future.
This announcement is just hours after the University of Colorado went public with their dispute of Vic Lombardi's report that Dan Hawkins and Chancellor Phil DiStefano came to an agreement that Hawkins will be retained as head coach for the 2010 - 2011 season. The Daily Camera was able to confirm that Hawkins did indeed meet with DiStefano and CU president Bruce Benson but no decision has been made yet:
The Camera has confirmed that Hawkins did sit down face-to-face with CU chancellor Phil DiStefano this week and came away from the meeting with the understanding that he would be given a chance to coach the Buffs for a fifth season. A source also said Hawkins has spoken with CU president Bruce Benson. CU spokesman Bronson Hilliard said today that no decision has been made.
DiStefano has made it clear in the past few weeks that the decision whether or not to retain Dan Hawkins as head coach was in the hands of the Athletic Director which makes the meeting between the Chancellor and Hawkins slightly confusing considering Bohn was out of town with the basketball team for the week. Did DiStefano change his mind about letting Bohn make the call on Hawkins? That might be something we will never know but if Hawkins is retained that is the first place we will look to, that meeting with the Chancellor while Bohn was out of town.
The timing of the announcement is a little surprising as well. Of course, coaches have been fired before their last game at a University but it doesn't usually occur before the day of a game to avoid immediate distraction, especially a home game against Nebraska. I also wonder how many people have actually been fired on Thanksgiving? Just something to think about.
Looking into this way too much, it would make more sense to me, as we stand here today on Wednesday, November 23rd, that if Hawkins were to be fired, it would be announced Friday after the game while a Thursday announcement would be to retain him as head coach. Of course, who knows, we have done things a lot more confusing than firing a coach the day before a game. Maybe Bohn is done with all the rumors and feels a decision needs to be made, regardless of the timing. Maybe DiStefano told him he had to act on this situation now before the University would have to make any more releases denying or dismissing news reports/rumors. Maybe Vic Lombardi was right about his report saying Hawkins was told he would be back for another year and now Colorado feels the need to just announce Hawkins is to be retained and move on.
I do have to say that the mood this past week has shifted from Hawkins being fired to Hawkins being retained. If Mike Bohn does announce the dismissal of Dan Hawkins, it would cost Colorado over $3 million due to the buyout clause.
Regardless of whether you are in the camp that wants Dan Hawkins fired or retained, looking at the situation without your black and gold goggles on, this is really a horrible situation the program is in. Because of the extension given to Dan Hawkins by Mike Bohn back on October 7th, 2008, if they do fire Hawkins, a cash strapped athletic department will have to pay Hawkins $3.0 million. If you retain Hawkins, well, you wonder about the commitment of the University towards athletics and how they evaluate success.