With a contract extension on the table from Oregon for Mario Cristobal, what does his ambiguity in the press conference following the Ducks 38-10 loss in the Pac 12 championship game mean for the Miami football team? Cristobal was evasive in questions about his future at Oregon or if he was considering Miami.
Oregon has an extension on the table for a reported $7 million annually according to James Crepea of Oregon Live. Cristobal received a six-year $27.3 million contract extension in December 2020 that takes him through the 2025 season. The Miami football program is reportedly ready to match those numbers.
Numbers for Cristobal have not been discussed, but big money Miami boosters are ready to compete with Nike founder Phil Knight who is responsible for Oregon becoming a major power in collegiate athletics. Cristobal discussed but did not go into details about the contract extension.
Cristobal acknowledged other schools are going to pursue him but did not specifically mention Miami. If Cristobal was going to definitely stay at Oregon he would likely have said that. Without a current commitment to Oregon, the ambiguity is to be expected and likely means he would strongly consider an offer from Miami.
“When you say someone’s offer, I haven’t talked to anyone…Let’s not create narratives as we sit in this press conference. Oregon is working on some stuff for me and that’s what I have right now…I would say if there is anything to report…I would report it I always have over the years.
I think because certain things or some things are actually put out there or not, every year our entire staff, whether it is behind the scene, public or not, we’ve always had people come after our people, including myself. How the media treats it, how the media postures it, I have no control of it.
I don’t know what to tell you. If I had any plans if I had a decision to make, or if I had something to report, I would…I wouldn’t keep it one way or the other. Do I expect people to come at me, yeah I do, it happens every single year. Is there anything else to report besides that, there is nothing else to report besides that.
If there is, when there ever is, if there ever is, I will make sure to get it out there as quickly as I can…I am not going to get into hypotheticals. We just finished a game where we played, coached very poorly in. I understand you have a job to do…I feel like you’re going in circles. You’re going to get the same response.”
Until Cristobal definitively makes a statement he is considering becoming the head coach for the Miami football program or elsewhere or staying at Oregon, the speculation will continue to fester. The longer the contract extension for Cristobal stays on the table, the better for Miami. Miami still has the vacancy for an athletic director.
Reports emerged on Friday that Miami was close to finalizing a deal to hire Clemson athletic director Dan Radakovich. The speculation has been that Radakovich would then lead the effort to recruit Cristobal. In the meantime, Manny Diaz is still the Hurricanes head coach. No public decision has been made on Diaz.
Some analysis has been that if Miami can pair Cristobal and Radakovich the Hurricanes would have one of the best athletic director and head coaching tandems nationally. Miami boosters are beginning to show they are serious about beginning to commit more resources to the football program.
Another thing to take into consideration is that Miami is an Addidas school, while Oregon is obviously Nike. Knight would not just lose Cristobal from his beloved alma mater, he would lose him to the biggest collegiate apparel and sponsorship rival, Addidas. There are a lot of factors to consider with Cristobal going to Miami.