Sources: U of M preparing for possible Norvell departure

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Memphis head coach Mike Norvell watches the action against South Florida during the first half of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Nov. 23, 2019, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Chris O’Meara)

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. — As rumors swirl before one of the biggest games in Tiger football history, multiple sources tell WREG that University of Memphis officials are preparing for the possibility of Mike Norvell leaving the program, taking the head coach job at Florida State.

The school was hopeful that any news of Norvell’s departure would be delayed until after Saturday’s American Athletic Conference championship game against Cincinnati, allowing coaches and players to focus on what could be a historic day for Memphis.

Florida State announced Saturday, during the Memphis-Cincinnati game, that the school would have a press conference Sunday to announce its new head football coach. The school did not identify Norvell as the coach.

ESPN first reported the likelihood of Norvell landing at Florida State on Friday evening.

The NCAA will announce bowl game pairings on Sunday afternoon. University of Memphis officials are bracing for the reality that by Sunday night, Norvell may have already left the program.

Norvell’s buyout for terminating his contract early at the University of Memphis is just $500,000, a relatively low sum for high level college coaches.

Norvell is 37-15 in four years as the head coach at Memphis.

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