In his Monday Teleconference, Coach Stoops from Oklahoma issued a really great non-denial denial. You can listen to it here (and if you’re interested in this stuff, suggest you do). A partial transcript, quoted below, is also helpful. I’m pretty impressed with his handling of the media. It’s really well done, and despite all the articles (shockingly from OK media outlets) indicating that he’s DEFINITELY NOT GOING TO ND, that’s not at all what Stoops said.
Stoops’ quotes and a few comments:
(Stoops): “The questions come up and like I always say I fully intend to be at Oklahoma, hopefully for a good while.”
LOVE use of the word ‘intend’ in the non-denial denial. Leaves room for things to change. Excellent work there.
“You never know what the good lord brings you, but in the end I couldn’t be more excited about, even through a tough year, the good quality kids we’re working with and the great people here that I work with daily in our administration”
Also love the reference to what the Good Lord can bring you. You know, you never know what He can bring you. Like, say, maybe the HC job at Notre Dame? But yeah, even though the Good Lord might bring that along, he’s really happy and excited about the people he’s working with now. That’s nice, and probably the truth, but it’s no denial.
“And you know I can’t help with all that’s said, but in the end, the players I’m recruiting understand that that’s what I’m excited about and that’s what I intend to do.”
He’s just being honest here, but this is also not a denial. He CAN’T help or change what’s being said in the media and in rumors and all that. But this doesn’t equate to a denial of the ND gig.
(Reporter): “There is officially an opening at Notre Dame. So, you’re not going there?”
(Stoops): “What I am saying is I intend to be at Oklahoma, that’s the only place that right now, yes that I am, what I’m looking to do. I will never confirm or deny whether I talk or not talk to anybody. And, I won’t be interviewing for any jobs.”
Repeat on the use of intend, and now he says that’s what he’s looking to do. I think he’s telling the truth here again, but it’s pretty vague. It’s what he intends to do, it’s what he’s planning, but we all know that plans can change.
And the kicker is the refusing to confirm or deny. The good thing for him is that it closes the book on the questions. He’s letting people know – you can stop asking, because you won’t get anything. But it’s also leaving the door open to an ND deal: I’m not telling you squat, even if it IS happening. So quit asking.
The ‘not interviewing’ thing is a great quote too. Brilliant even. It gives the appearance of his shutting down the rumors, without actually doing so. Because Bob Stoops doesn’t interview. He negotiates. But just because he doesn’t interview for the ND job, doesn’t mean he couldn’t end up the coach at ND.
(Reporter): “I’m not asking if you talked to anybody.”
Reporter’s just being annoying now, and isn’t really asking a question, but he’s fishing for a flat out ‘no’, a blatant refusal, a solid ‘no way’ to the ND job. He’s not gonna get it.
(Stoops): “Well I just said all that.”
Now Coach Stoops is just giving it to this guy, because he’s annoyed. Pretty funny.
(Reporter): “What I’m asking is can you tell me right now that you won’t go to Notre Dame?”
Ummm, unlikely bud.
(Stoops): “What I’m saying is that I’m going to be at Oklahoma next year. So I can’t be in two places at once.”
This is actually the closest thing to a denial that’s out there. He probably meant to say ‘intend to be at Oklahoma’ next year, but this could still be viewed either way. Right now, he plans to be at Oklahoma, and if that’s the case he can’t be at ND. But…if he’s at ND, he can’t be at OK.
(Reporter): “Well then why not just say no?”
Now it just gets funny…non-denial denial to a tee…
(Stoops): “Because I don’t like the way you worded it. So, in the end, I told you what I intend to do. If Joe (Castiglione) and President Boren will have me, that’s what I’m going to do. And that’s where it’s at.”
(Reporter): “How would you have worded it?”
(Stoops): “Not like you, obviously.”
So yeah, could be Stoops. May not be Stoops. Still have no idea, but if anything this PC makes me think he’s MORE open to a potential move to ND. Not less.