Once again, after another morning of a coaching carousel wildfire, it appears that Mike Brey's Maryland decision won't be one he has to make -- or that he's made it already.
In the midst of reports that Notre Dame's basketball coach would meet with Maryland on Sunday to discuss its coaching vacancy, Brey seemingly quashed all that in a six-syllable text message to the Tribune.
There was bound to be an endpoint to the drama Sunday regardless. On Sunday evening, Brey had a previously scheduled meeting with his Notre Dame team and an individual sit-down with forward Carleton Scott to discuss the junior's plans to stay in or withdraw from the NBA Draft.
Brey and Notre Dame are expected to finalize a contract extension by the end of the month, a source told the Tribune on Saturday. But that was before Maryland's job somewhat stunningly remained open when Arizona coach Sean Miller turned down overtures and signing an extension in Tuscon.
That prompted the speculation engine to begin churning again. The Washington Post and a Maryland-based Rivals.com site reported that Maryland and Brey would meet Sunday. But FoxSports.com and ESPN both reported that Maryland's next target may be Butler's Brad Stevens, with Brey and Texas A&M's Mark Turgeon as next-in-line choices after that.
As for the possibility of Brey extending his stay at Notre Dame, the Tribune first reported the in-the-works extension Thursday in the wake of Gary Williams' retirement at Maryland and speculation about Brey as a potential replacement. FoxSports.com reported a more aggressive timeline for the extension Saturday, saying it could be done "in the next week or so."
But all this came with the backdrop of multiple outlets reporting that Maryland focused intently and immediately on Arizona's Sean Miller to replace Williams, its coach for the previous 22 seasons.
Late Saturday night, Arizona announced a contract extension for Miller.
"Sean and I have had many positive conversations and have been working on a revised contract for some time," said Arizona AD Greg Byrne in the press release. "I'm pleased to confirm that we have agreed to an amendment to Sean's contract that we hope will keep him in Tucson for many years to come."
Even as it appeared increasingly unlikely that Brey would make the move to Maryland, there were reasons to see it both ways.
Brey is a Maryland native who played and coached at DeMatha High School in Hyattsville, Md., and still vacations in Rehoboth Beach, Del. Maryland is a hefty rebuilding job suddenly with Jordan Williams' departure for the NBA, but the high school talent in the Baltimore-D.C. corridor may allow for a relatively quick fix.
Still, Brey is a virtual facsimile of Williams in some regards, with both coaches failing to reach the Sweet 16 since 2003 and neither caring to cozy up to the shadier side of recruiting with local AAU coaches -- something that eternally frustrated Maryland fans about Williams and a Brey stance that likely wouldn't endear him to Terrapins faithful.
Plus, at 52, he faced a hefty rebuilding job even with the recruiting advantages Maryland offers.
Brey has a 238-120 record in 11 seasons at Notre Dame.