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SATURDAY, DECEMBER 16, 2006
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Uncertainty over future dogs Tide assistants

By Josh Cooper
jcooper@decaurdaily.com· 340-2460

Women are complicating everything, according to Alabama interim head football coach Joe Kines.

As he focuses on stopping Oklahoma State’s option attack for the Dec. 28 Independence Bowl, he can’t help but hear the questions from his wife, Rubye, who wonders where they’ll be next season.

The firing of head coach Mike Shula on Nov. 26 has created uncertainty for his former staff, which remains at Alabama. Defensive line coach Buddy Wyatt already has defected to Nebraska. Other coaches are rumored for various coaching positions, including Kines, who has been mentioned as candidate to join Mack Brown’s staff at Texas.

But for now, Kines remains at Alabama, focusing on the Tide’s bowl game.

“Wives are strange creatures,” Kines said. “They’re conscious of bills to be paid, and all those things take a little bearing on these men.”

Kines added, “Those things kind of happen during bowl season. A coach goes to a bowl game with one coach short or two coaches short.”

According to Kines, defensive ends coach David Turner will fill in for Wyatt. Strength coach Terry Jones, a former defensive lineman at Alabama and with the Green Bay Packers, will assist.

The changing of the guard has put the assistant coaches into somewhat of a free-for-all.

In the early stages of the Alabama coaching search, several assistant coaches positioned themselves possibly to stick around as part of the new staff.

But with West Virginia's Rich Rodriguez turning down the position and with no clear movement in the search at this point, Wyatt's departure could be the first of several assistant coaching dominoes to fall before the Independence Bowl.

"Our focus at this time and at the end of this thing is that The University of Alabama is in good shape," Kines said. "All we're trying to do right now is get through this block of time."

The current staff is working to make sure Alabama does not lose any of its recruits.

However, the Crimson Tide could be losing one of the biggest pieces of its recruiting class in quarterback Robert Marve of Plant High in Tampa, Fla.

He publicly committed to The University of Alabama in June and has told scout.com that he is exploring other options.

Marve stands as one example of a disadvantage that an unsettled coaching situation brings.

"It will all work out," Kines said. "I may get hit by a Mack truck going home tonight, but that's just the way it is.

"We don't have the promise of tomorrow."

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