Holtz out of Syracuse mix?

Posted by ESPN.com's Brian Bennett

The Skip Holtz-to-Syracuse scenario appears dead in the water.

East Carolina, Holtz's current employer, plans to issue a statement about the coach's future this afternoon at 1:30. Two TV stations in Greenville, N.C., reported Wednesday night that Holtz had turned down an offer to be the next Orange coach. Holtz is in Memphis today for a Liberty Bowl news conference, and if he was going to accept the job it wouldn't make sense for him to do it there and have his own school issue the press release.

So it looks like Syracuse will have to move on yet again. Orange athletic director Daryl Gross has talked to scores of candidates and has struck out on some of his desired targets, including Lane Kiffin, UConn's Randy Edsall and Temple's Al Golden. Kiffin went to Tennessee, while Edsall and Golden have both publicly said they would not pursue the job.

Could Buffalo coach Turner Gill be next on Gross' list? The Associated Press reports that Buffalo athletic director Warde Manuel has given both Auburn and Syracuse permission to speak with Gill, who this season led the Bulls to the MAC championship and the school's first-ever bowl appearance. Another name to watch is New Orleans Saints offensive coordinator Doug Marrone, who has interviewed twice so far with Gross.