Gophers coach Tubby Smith has a contract that expires after the 2013-2014 season. And according to his agent, he plans to stay even longer.

Ricky Lefft, a South Carolina attorney who's represented Smith for years, said he expects Smith to sign an extension prior to the 2011-12 season.

"Absolutely," he said when I caught up with him at halftime of the Gophers' 66-63 loss to Penn State Sunday.

The university and Smith first discussed a possible extension last year. Both Smith, who makes $1.8 million per year, and athletic director Joel Maturi said recently that lawyers for both sides were working out the details.

But it's been more than a year since those negotiations started. The delay has fueled speculation about Smith's future.

Lefft, however, said it's just a matter of time before Smith's extension becomes official.

"It’s in the works," he said. 

Prior to our brief chat about the status of Smith's extension, I asked him if his client planned to stay at the University of Minnesota after this season.

"What do you mean by that? Yeah. He’s got a contract," he replied.