Oregon Athletic Director and current playoff committee chairman Rob Mullens is reportedly a top candidate to fill the vacant AD position at Texas A&M per James Crepea of the Oregonian.
Texas A&M lost their AD, Scott Woodward to LSU last month after former Tigers AD Joe Alleva left that position via “retirement”. There’s some speculation that the recent allegations against head men’s basketball coach Will Wade was the swan song for Alleva. Scott Woodward was the athletic director for the University of Washington prior to his appointment at A&M.
If hired by the Aggies, Mullens would almost certainly garner a pay raise from his current Oregon contract of $717,000 in annual base salary with annual retention bonuses totaling to $2.2 million until 2024. Woodward reportedly had a $935K annual contract with additional retention bonuses. Keep in mind that the state of Texas has no income tax while Oregon does.
He would preside over a Texas A&M athletics budget that currently ranks second in total revenue in the nation with $211,960,034, according to USA Today . Oregon comes in at 12th overall and top ranked Pac-12 school with a revenue stream of $145,417,315.
There are several questions here to be raised for Mr. Mullens to definitively answer in my opinion.
The first being, is the move to College Station worth the extra financial wherewithal given the unrelenting palace intrigue involving the Board of Regents and the University administration? It’s just a different level of politics in the Texas college system compared to other states.
Secondly, is it worth it to deal with a football head coach will essentially name an AD that he wants to work with? While money is possibly no object for A&M, Jimbo Fisher was notoriously “difficult” to deal with while at Florida State. He was constantly demanding things for his program while the on field results slowly disintegrated into mediocre results from a previous high of a national title. Fisher before his departure for College Station was a constant presence on various coaching search hot boards, namely LSU. However, there's an unique bond between native West Virginians (of which Mullens is one.)
Thirdly, will the University of Oregon up the ante in this staring contest with the Aggies? Do they have the resources to do it? The university should do whatever it takes within reason to retain Mullens as he has been very successful in not only football but in other sports as well. Not to mention the prestige of being Playoff Committee Chairman.
Lastly, what are his career ambitions? Maybe he wants to gain the office of the SEC Commissioner at a future date. He does have SEC connections via his tenure as Deputy AD at Kentucky prior to Oregon.
If I were a betting individual, I’d place a bet on Mullens staying with “his” coaches instead of potentially having to deal with Coach Fisher’s onerous contract ($75 million fully GUARANTEED even if they go winless for the next decade). This also includes a newly hired basketball coach for the annual base rate of $4 million. I would hedge by saying that A&M’s level of resources is quite a bit different than Oregon’s resources all things being equal. Mullens made his name as an accountant so money is a thing to him.
If Mullens decides to leave, then he'll have left Oregon in a pretty solid state of affairs overall (minus the whole softball debacle). It will be a coveted job, I'm sure.
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