What's the holdup with USF and Charlie Strong?
As its fan base fidgets, USF's pursuit of Charlie Strong has stretched into its third afternoon.
Which is to say, eons by coaching-search standards.
So what's the holdup? Or is there one? Strong, who arrived shortly after noon Friday in Tampa on a Learjet owned by a University of Texas booster, was spotted by WFTS sports anchor Tom Korun boarding that same plane Saturday morning. Strong declined to be interviewed, but upon leaving uttered, "I'll be back."
Meantime, a source close to the negotiations told the Tampa Bay Times earlier Saturday it has a 60-40 chance of landing Strong.
As the Bulls await Strong's potential second coming, one must at least ponder which (if any) sticking point in negotiations could prevent it.
Consider Strong's contract with Texas: As has been well chronicled, the deal clearly indicates UT still owes him the last two years of his base salary (slightly more than $5 million per year). If he lands another job, however, he must give Texas half of his new annual salary during those two years.
Translation: If he was offered $2 million annually by the Bulls, he still would collect $6 million a year for the next two years, counting his UT buyout.
Whether that's a deal-breaker is anyone's guess.
Also consider the portion of the contract that states Strong "agrees to make every reasonable effort to obtain other employment" as long as UT has its buyout obligation. One could reasonably argue an overnight stay in Tampa constitutes "every reasonable effort," and Strong still pockets $5 million if he decides not to coach in 2017.
Many believe he'd much rather be on a sideline than a couch in '17.
"Absolutely. He's a football junkie," Austin (Texas) American-Statesman columnist Kirk Bohls said.
"Remember, Charlie's no spring chicken," Fox Sports' Tim Brando told 620-AM. "He looks young but he's not; he's 56 years old. You can suddenly become irrelevant if you're out of the profession for, say, more than a calendar year."