Been meaning to get to this for a while now but running late on it.
So, a few weeks ago, the Texas job opened up and I theorized about how great it would be to see former Pitt coach try to bust his way out of Arizona State to try to land it, despite the agreement that existed between current Texas VP of athletics (and former ASU VP of athletics) Steve Patterson and Arizona State saying that he wouldn't poach any Sun Devils coaches.
Former Pitt standout and current ESPN analyst Mark May, though, dropped a bit of a bombshell reportedly saying that Graham tried to get out of his deal, anyway:
Todd Graham heard about it. The Arizona Sports 620 radio comments from ESPN analyst Mark May about him privately "lobbying like heck" to try to get the recently open Texas job.
"I heard it from not one, but two of our reporters at ESPN that he was lobbying to get that job," May said this month. " … It was another one of his ‘dream jobs.’ "
Graham didn't respond to the allegation, only offering some pretty canned language about wanting to build Arizona State's program. To his credit, though, he did say he hasn't pursued anything out of the program:
“I’m here. I want to build a top-five program in America. That’s why I’m here. Through all this stuff, it really is irritating to me, because you can say whatever you want to say whether it’s true or not true. I have said over and over again my commitment is to this program. I haven’t pursued or entertained anything outside this program.”
I'm not saying that May is making this up, but as a proud Pitt alum, he's clearly irked by Graham and it's understandable that he'd have bad feelings towards him. But there's really nowhere to go from here since May isn't likely going to offer up his ESPN sources and unless someone else steps forward to call out Graham on this, we're stuck in he said/he said mode.