If Jon Gruden has been let go by Miami, well, it's a damn shame.
The man had the job for two hours Sunday night. What the heck is going to happen to all his commits? The next coach is going to have a heck of a salvage job. Shabby way to treat a coach, Miami.
What? Wait, Gruden never was hired by Miami? You're kidding? I saw it on Twitter. I saw it from sources. I saw it in blogs. I saw in my e-mail. When a guy can't trust those outlets who can he trust?
For those of you sarcasm-impaired, calm down. We have entered a dark, confusing, dangerous age in journalism. Rumors are now stories. If we don't react to them, you do so at your own peril. Sources can send us scrambling like Top Gun fighter pilots. We have to. If we don't, we risk getting scooped. There's the same chance we also might end up chasing those wild geese.
My friend Chip Brown of Orangebloods.com added credibility to himself and his site covering the Big 12 realignment story this summer. He had a source, or sources, who turned out to be right. What happened Sunday night I'm not sure. I was getting those same texts, e-mails, blogs and scuttlebutt telling me that something was up with Gruden and Miami. Real? Not real? I see names attached to Twitter accounts. Sometimes I don't know who is at the other end of those accounts.
It was a strange week: Michigan AD Dave Brandon felt compelled to react to rumors that Rich Rodriguez was going to be fired after the Ohio State game. These days a high-ranking official like Brandon almost has react to such rumors. His silence would have lent credibility to them -- and that's sad. And until Michigan plays another game, those rumors could be true.
Also last week, film surfaced of Nebraska coordinator Carl Pelini seemingly going after a guy holding a camera on the field following the Texas A&M game. Before it could be confirmed by any reliable source, Pelini himself confirmed it by apologizing.
Whatever sources there were Sunday night in this Gruden "story" were wrong. Or at least, they were wrong for the moment. Or maybe just Gruden and Miami couldn't work something out. Thank goodness, our Clark Judge added some finality to the situation quoting a source -- one you should trust -- saying there was a "zero percent chance" Gruden would end up at Miami.
All that being said, would anyone be surprised if Gruden eventually did become the Miami coach? He issued this non-denial denial on Sunday.
"I am committed to MNF and to ESPN," Gruden said in a statement. "I enjoy working with Mike [Tirico], [Ron Jaworski] and our entire crew and am just trying to get better at this job."
Nowhere in there does it say, "I am not going to be the coach at the University of Miami."
Maybe that's because it could still happen. Gruden would be a great hire for Miami. The nation is getting an inside look at his expertise each week on television. He has a Super Bowl ring. He has coached in college, though not in 19 years.
One question, though: If Gruden is hired by the Canes would he be returning to Miami?