UPDATE 6:06 p.m. ET:
The reporter behind the original story has radically amended his position:
To clarify, Texas did consider Ohio State AD Gene Smith for AD spot, but Smith didn't make the short list cut. Sorry for confusion.— kbohls (@kbohls) October 31, 2013
That pretty much puts that to rest.
UPDATE 3:00 p.m. ET :
I'm staying at Ohio State. I have the greatest respect for the University of Texas and one of my mentors, DeLoss Dodds. More ...— gene smith (@OSU_AD) October 31, 2013
I am fortunate to have the opportunity to be the athletics director at The Ohio State University. More ...— gene smith (@OSU_AD) October 31, 2013
... Reports of me interviewing at the University of Texas are inaccurate. Thank you and Go Bucks!— gene smith (@OSU_AD) October 31, 2013
★ ★ ★
Gene Smith, while generally well liked from an interpersonal vantage, certainly has his fair share of critics amongst Ohio State circles. While the Buckeyes have reached unprecedented on the field success in the two revenue sports under Smith's guidance, many Ohio State fans will have a hard time ever forgetting the way he continually "lost the press conference" during the Tat-gate affair, and ultimately declined to accept a bowl ban in 2011 leading to the Buckeyes' undefeated 2012 season being a lost one.
For his body of work, however, Smith has earned an interview for the University of Texas athletic director spot. The Texas AD spot is widely considered one of the "best" gigs in the country given its scope, the upside/historical success of Texas athletics across the board, and the perk of living in one of what's widely considered one of the "most livable" cities in the country.
Smith joins presumed front runner West Virginia athletic director Oliver Luck in the hunt and Arizona State AD Steve Patterson, who one report earlier this week claimed had turned down the job (which was later rebuked by Kirk Bohls, the Austin American Statesman reporter who broke the Smith news). In addition to being the Buckeyes' AD, Smith's served as the past president of the association of athletic directors, was chair of an NCAA Men's Basketball selection committee, and was at one point honored as athletic director of the year by the Sports Business Journal.
We'll have more as this story evolves.