NYC the place to be for Sumlin, Thomas
As the focus shifted from Todd Monken to Kevin Sumlin on Tuesday, there were no signs of an imminent hire at Illinois.
The job posting deadline was at 5 p.m., meaning Illinois could technically hire a coach at any point after that. But the night ended without an announcement.
And there were no plans for a news conference Wednesday.
So, where was Illinois athletic director Mike Thomas on Tuesday? In New York for part of the day. Big Ten athletic directors were holding meetings there, the same day as the National Football Foundation dinner at the Waldorf-Astoria.
A Houston official said Sumlin was scheduled to be in New York for the dinner. Illinois has not asked for permission to talk to Sumlin, the Houston official said.
You can apparently cross out one potential candidate for the Illinois job. Southern Mississippi coach Larry Fedora is expected to be hired Wednesday at North Carolina. Fedora also was mentioned for the vacant Texas A&M position.
Sources in the Big Ten said Illinois favors Sumlin to replace Ron Zook. Getting a deal done won't be easy. Sumlin has been mentioned for multiple openings (Texas A&M, Arizona State and UCLA) and is represented by high-powered agent Jimmy Sexton.
College coaches on Sexton's client list include Virginia Tech's Frank Beamer, Florida State's Jimbo Fisher, Southern Cal's Lane Kiffin and Alabama's Nick Saban. He also works with Rex Ryan of the Jets.