It comes at an inopportune time, but speculation is running sky high that Tony Dungy will be leaving the Colts after this season. The speculation is fueled by his son Eric, transferring from Park Tudor in Indianapolis to Plant High School in Tampa.
Anyone who has read his autobiography "Quiet Strength" from cover to cover understand why Coach Dungy is a short timer and will sympathize with him. The fact that he is still coaching is a surprise, to be honest.
But does the move of his family to Tampa signal his impending departure? Not necessarily.
As a man who puts family first, as it should be, the family's move to Tampa is likely all about putting his kids first. And according to WISH-TV, Colts Owner Jim Irsay is willing to make it easier for Tony Dungy to coach and be close to his family. Apparently Irsay is offering a private jet to go see his son play football on Friday nights, plus off season sabbaticals to spend with the family. Irsay is trying hard to keep Dungy.
But you may be asking, why would Dungy move his son from Park Tudor, a well known private academic power house? It looks like it is because of athletics. Park Tudor Football, who plays in Class 1A, went 3-6 this season and lost in the first round of the sectionals to Clinton Prairie 28-6.
Eric is now attending Plant High School in Tampa, who were the 2006 Florida Class 4A Football Champions and got bounced from the semi-finals this season. It appears that they have a strong football program. The young Dungy was Park Tudor's top wide receiver and is moving to a school whose top two wide receivers are graduating this year. So Dungy goes to a football team with the prospect of success and pushing him into the view of college football scouts, and a school that is in need of wide receivers picked up a good one. I've never seen the sophomore Eric play; I don't know his stats. But on the outside, it looks like a natural fit.
Just so you know, it is not all about football. 97% of Plant's graduates go to college. And Plant has been named one of the top 100 high schools in America by Newsweek magazine for three straight years.
Plus, it is a public school.
So Eric Dungy would be getting the best of both worlds, academic and athletic.
Will Dungy move on after this season? Good possibility. But the move of his family to Tampa is neither a sign of change nor a reason for change. Based on his work schedule, he doesn't see his kids that much during the season. Moving them to Tampa won't change that. Irsay's offer will keep Coach Dungy in Tampa enough to see his family and, specifically, his son.
Obviously, these questions will be answered in due time. Until then, focus on today and just do what we do.