News from the Tennessee Valley Sports

Source says Rodriguez deal
not final

'Both sides are working,'
AD Moore says

By Josh Cooper 340-2462

There could be light at the end of the tunnel of the Alabama coaching search.

While it was expected that major movement would be announced Wednesday, it appears that any large developments will be known today.

The Tide is keeping mum on its candidates, perhaps to make a run at Miami Dolphins coach Nick Saban. But Rich Rodriguez appears to be the fancy of Alabama's interest.

On Tuesday, Rodriguez and athletics director Mal Moore met for 90 minutes at the Waldorf-Astoria hotel in New York City. A source close to the situation said no agreement was reached and Moore departed for Tuscaloosa on Wednesday.

The trip to Tuscaloosa was a change of plans for Moore, who was scheduled to be in South Bend, Ind. for the fourth-ranked basketball team's game against the Notre Dame Fighting Irish today.

Reporters met Moore at the Tuscaloosa Regional Airport to ask him about his meeting with Rodriguez.

According to several publications, Moore responded by saying, "I don't have anything for you guys yet. I think things are going well. We are just following our planned course of action. Both sides are working."

No board of trustees meeting has taken place, according to sources.

This would be the final step before any official coaching hire.

Rodriguez, meanwhile, went back to Morgantown, W.Va., in order to give his current employer one last chance to plead its case, according to published reports.

According to a report in The Associated Press, the Mountaineers plan on raising private funds for a $2 million study center and $4 million locker room renovations. About half the funds for the study center have been accrued, and fund-raising for the locker room is just getting started, the report said.

The plans for the renovations were agreed upon last summer.

"There are some situations there that Rich would like improved, and we're going to improve them," said West Virginia athletics director Ed Pastilong in the story.

"That project's going very good. It's on track and I'm pleased to say that will be done in the near future."

Alabama recently finished a $120 million facilities upgrade.

It is believed that the Tide is likely to give the West Virginia coach upwards of $2 million.

Rodriguez reportedly makes $1.1 million per season as
part of a seven-year $8.65 million deal he signed in the summer.

As part of his contract, he will receive $600,000 deferred compensation should he stay at WVU for the entirety of his contract.

On Wednesday night, WALA-Fox-10 TV in Mobile reported that a group of Alabama trustees went to Miami to
talk with Saban in one more effort to get the former LSU coach.

When reached by a state radio show Wednesday, Jimmy Sexton, Saban's agent said there was no truth to the

Dolphins insiders say that there is nothing going on in Miami that would remotely suggest that Saban would leave for Alabama.

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