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Could Saban be Texas-bound?

By By The Sports Xchange
Published On: Dec 11 2013 09:47:14 AM CST
Updated On: Dec 11 2013 09:48:47 AM CST
Alabama football coach Nick Saban

Tami Chappell/Reuters

Texas coach Mack Brown is expected to announce by the end of the week that he is stepping down after 16 years at the school, Orangebloods.com reported.

Meanwhile, one of the names prominently mentioned as a possible replacement, Alabama coach Nick Saban, has not responded to a new contract extension offer from the Crimson Tide, which is causing some uneasiness among school administrators, ESPN reported Wednesday.

A reporter from the Fort Worth Telegram posted Tuesday night on Twitter that Saban would take the Texas job.

"Source close to Texas executive council of regents says Nick Saban will be next Longhorns coach," tweeted Stefan Stevenson, the TCU beat reporter for the Telegram.

Brown disputed the story that he was leaving when reached by text from Horns247.com.

"I haven't seen (the) article," Brown wrote via text. "I'm in Florida recruiting. If I had decided to step down I sure wouldn't be killing myself down here. I have not decided to step down."

Reports surfaced earlier in the season that Texas might be targeting Saban after it was discovered that a current and former Texas regent discussed the Texas position with Saban's agent, Jimmy Sexton, after last season's BCS championship game. Saban denied he was interested in the job.

NFL Network reported Tuesday that Alabama and Saban were engaged in negotations on a contract extension that would bump the annual salary of a new deal to the $7 million per season range.

In March, Saban received a contract extension from Alabama worth $5.62 million a year but then was offered another extension after the Crimson Tide finished the regular season with an 11-1 record. His current deal at Alabama runs through Jan. 21, 2020.

According to Orangebloods.com, Brown wants to do what's in the best interest of the school. An official comfirmation of his resignation could come at the team's football banquet on Friday night.

If Brown does leave, his last game would be in the Valero Alama Bowl against Oregon.

Brown is under contract through the end of 2020. His 2013 compensation was $5.4 million. He would receive a $2.75 million buyout and other considerations and reassigned to an advistory role at the univeristy with an annual salary of $500,000 through the end of his contract, according to Orangebloods.com.

The 62-year-old Brown is second in career victories at Texas with 158, trailing only legendary Darrell Royal (167).

After nine consecutive 10-win seasons under Brown at Texas from 2001 to 2009, the Longhorns have gone 5-7 in 2010, 8-5 in 2011, 9-4 in 2012 and 8-4 this season.

Texas was hurt by numerous injuries this year but still had a shot at winning the Big 12 title before a 30-10 loss at Baylor last Saturday. That fourth loss made Brown the first coach in Texas history with four losses in four consecutive seasons.

Texas athletic director Steve Patterson said, "We continue to discuss the future of Texas football. Mack Brown has not resigned. And, no decisions have been made."

The UT Board of Regents is scheduled to meet Thursday.

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