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Reports: Whipple not headed to USF

Rumors and reports began swirling last night that Canes offensive coordinator Mark Whipple had not only been interviewed for the head coaching job at South Florida, but was the leading candidate. 

Mark WhippleRegardless of whether or not either was true, it looks like Whipple won't be going anywhere at the moment. FanHouse.com is reporting the USF job will be going to former East Carolina coach Skip Holtz and according to the Tampa Tribune, a deal with Holtz is imminent. 

The bigger question for the Canes now becomes if and when they'll lose their offensive coordinator. Whipple has made it no secret he's interested in becoming a head coach at a BCS-level school. He was reportedly a finalist for the job at Cincinnati. He's also got plenty of NFL connections and could always end up leaving if former boss Bill Cowher ends up finding work. 

The Miami Herald has tried reaching Whipple by phone several times, but has been unsuccessful. Either way, losing Whipple, who is the assistant head coach, quarterbacks coach and offensive coordinator, would be a major blow for the Canes. Hired a year ago to replace Patrick Nix, he turned UM's inept offense around. The Hurricanes scored 394 points, their most since 2002, and ranked 45th in total offense and 31st in scoring offense. 

> The Hurricane club is hosting "An Evening with UM Football Greats" on February 1 at the Fontainebleau on Miami Beach from 7 to 10 p.m. It is open to 500 guests and will feature UM coach Randy Shannon, former coach Jimmy Johnson and many former UM players including Russell Maryland, Ted Hendricks, Michael Irvin and Darin Smith. Tickets are $200 per person and will feature an open bard, hors d'oeuvres, buffet stations, coffee and dessert service. Call 305-284-6699.

> UM running back Javarris James and center A.J. Trump have accepted invitations to play in the East-West Shrine Game, which will be played in Orlando on Jan. 23.