According to the report, Texas hopes that a deal can get reached so that Smart can be introduced by Friday. The Austin-American Statesman reported that Patterson was flying to Richmond, Va., Thursday afternoon.
Smart’s name has been linked to the job since Texas and Rick Barnes parted ways last week after 17 seasons at the school. Barnes is now the head coach at Tennessee.
Smart, 37, has a 163-56 in six seasons at VCU, with his teams winning 26 or more games in each season and has taken the Rams to the NCAA tournament in each of the past five years, including a Final Four berth in 2011.
HornsDigest.com's Chip Brown reported that a five-year deal worth about $14 million ”was on the table" for Smart to become the Longhorns coach.
VCU athletic director Ed McLaughlin insisted there is no deal with Smart, saying “He is still our coach."
Smart made $1.8 million this season and if he leaves VCU before May 1, he will owe the school $500,000. Smart’s contract also mandates that if he takes a job at another school, Smart's new school would be required to play VCU in a home-and-home series or pay VCU $250,000.
Texas paid Barnes $2.62 million for the 2014-15 season. The Longhorns finished 20-14 last season, losing to Butler in the second round of the NCAA tournament, but the team could return four starters next season.
- Scooby Axson