When Steve Patterson's departure to Texas was announced, the "Todd Graham is sure to follow" floodgates burst open.
Well, the Arizona Republic's Jeff Metcalfe valiantly sentenced that chatter to a swift death Tuesday after he reached out to Arizona State president Michael Crow for additional comment:
President Michael Crow: Patterson "not allowed to hire someone from #ASU" as part of agreement for him to leave— jeffmetcalfe (@jeffmetcalfe) November 5, 2013
At this time, it's not 100 percent clear whether Crow's statement covers other front office staff members or coaches (or both). It's also a bit cloudy on how Crow plans on enforcing the "agreement" and the amount of time this "agreement" protects the university for.
The concerns don't stop there either; Fox Sports Arizona's Josh Kelman raised the following point on Twitter as well: what if someone like Graham decides to resign first to get around the "agreement," much like he did with Pittsburgh to get to Arizona State.
As many have pointed out, Graham's new contract would force him to pay up to $1.5 million to the university if he leaves for another university. Then again, it's not as if that would slow down Texas and its $163 million athletics budget if they truly coveted Graham.
But for the moment at least, it seems Crow has this situation down on lock. While it's up for debate if Graham's resume was worthy Texas' consideration, Arizona State and Crow were wise to nip this in the bud. With Graham's school-hopping history and his Texas-connection, this could have quickly snowballed into a distraction for the 6-2 Sun Devils.
As this story continues to develop, we strongly suggest you follow @JeffMetcalfe on Twitter.