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Amid rumors to the contrary, Shaka Smart is in his VCU office today

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RICHMOND, Va. — Despite rumors that he was in Texas, VCU head coach Shaka Smart was in his Siegel Center office Wednesday afternoon while stories continued to spin about the Longhorns keeping him as the primary focus of their coaching search. Smart also has no plans to attend this weekend’s Final Four in Indianapolis, where coaches from across the country regularly gather for the final weekend of the season. His absence was not due to the recent boycotts over Indiana’s freedom of religion law.

A report from (subscription) said that the University of Texas was hoping to finalize terms with Smart very soon. Sources told CBS 6 sports that any offer coming from the Longhorns would likely be for five years and in the neighborhood of $16 million, an average of $3.2 million per year. Smart’s current salary with VCU is $1.57 million. Texas was paying former coach Rick Barnes $2.55 million.

Late Wednesday afternoon, Gary Parrish of CBS reported that Texas officials were confident a deal would be completed soon.

It is worth noting that, while Smart’s name has come up in several coaching searches over the past few years, he has always either removed his name from consideration or otherwise declined interest quickly in the process. Texas’s search is now moving toward its fourth day, and Smart has remained silent.

The Dallas Morning News is reporting that Longhorns AD Steve Patterson would like to have an announcement before the Final Four begins at the end of this week.