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TUESDAY, DECEMBER 5, 2006
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Tide search hits NYC; no word on prey

By Josh Cooper
jcooper@decaturdaily.com 340-2460

Monday turned into Tuesday with no official word from The University of Alabama regarding its coaching vacancy.

Athletics director Mal Moore and university President Robert Witt are in New York City, where they were scheduled to attend an alumni function Monday from 5-8 p.m.

Moore also is in New York to attend the College Football Hall of Fame inductions.

Also in New York is West Virginia coach Rich Rodriguez, an Alabama coaching candidate and reportedly the Crimson Tide's top target. The Mountaineers coach is there for the Draddy Trophy presentation, for which West Virginia linebacker Jay Henry is a candidate.

The awards presentation is set for this morning.

It is unconfirmed whether Rodriguez and Moore met Monday in order to discuss the Crimson Tide job, although some broadcast reports say they did. According to reports, Moore and Rodriguez are expected to meet today.

Industry insiders think that Rodriguez is Alabama's top choice to take the job, which opened after Mike Shula was fired Nov. 26.

Meanwhile, those close to the search remain hopeful that a resolution can happen within the next 48 hours.

Earlier in the day, Rutgers coach Greg Schiano turned down overtures by the University of Miami saying that he would remain in Piscataway, N.J.

While Rodriguez is not considered the Hurricanes' top choice, Schiano's decision could mean that Alabama's timetable to secure a coaching candidate would be sped up.

Colorado-based headhunter Chuck Neinas has been employed by both Alabama and Miami to help in both schools coaching searches.

Neinas contacted Rodriguez early last week, but it is not known what school he was representing when he made that overture.

Also, it was reported Monday that Alabama had moved on from Nick Saban as a candidate for the coaching job.

"I'm not going to continue to respond to rumors and innuendo, which this obviously is," Saban said after the Dolphins' Sunday loss to Jacksonville. "I'm not going to continue to respond to rumors and innuendo, which this obviously is."

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