The rumor mill churns
Miami's Davis denies he's leaving for Alabama
CORAL GABLES, Fla. (AP) -- Miami football coach Butch Davis adamantly denied any contact with Alabama officials concerning the Crimson Tide's vacant coaching job.
"I have not spoken to anybody at the University of Alabama, and I don't think they have contacted [Miami athletic director] Paul Dee to be honest with you," Davis said Tuesday. Prior to Tuesday, Davis had refused to comment on reports linking him to Alabama, where Mike DuBose was told Oct. 31 that he would not be brought back for a fifth season. The Tide finished 3-8, their worst record since 1957, after being ranked as high as No. 3 in preseason polls.
Alabama athletic director Mal Moore said he hopes to meet with his leading coaching candidates next week. Davis and Virginia Tech's Frank Beamer reportedly top Moore's wish list.
But Davis said he has no intentions of coaching at Alabama, at least not right now.
"I have 11 years invested in this program as a head coach and an assistant coach," said Davis, an assistant under Jimmy Johnson at Miami from 1984-88. "My intention is to stay here if I can."
Davis, who turned 49 last week, likely will need more money for that to happen. He is in his fourth year of a seven-year deal that pays him about $900,000 annually.
Dee indicated that he would have no problem tearing up the final three years of Davis' contract and rewarding him with a new deal. Dee and the school's board of trustees could craft a new contract, but university president Tad Foote would have the final say on a more lucrative deal.
"If you look at anybody, Mr. [Bob] Stoops is at Oklahoma for eight months and gets a new contract, Mr. [Tommy] Bowden is at Clemson for one year and gets a new contract, Mr. [Tommy] Tuberville is at Auburn for two seasons and gets a new contract ..." Dee said. "I think we've done well to get four years."
How much will it take to keep Davis is the question Miami faces. Bowden got a $1.1 million contract from Clemson, while Stoops will make $1.4 annually from Oklahoma.
Davis, 49-20 in his sixth season at Miami, has his No. 2 Hurricanes closing in on their first Big East title since 1996 and their first undefeated conference run since 1994. They also have a shot at the national title.
"I know what Coach Davis has invested and I don't think he'll want to leave this team," offensive tackle Joaquin Gonzalez said.
Rumors of Davis' departure aren't expected to die down even if Alabama fills its position. His name already has come up for potential NFL openings, and he's been mentioned as a front-runner for the NFL expansion Houston Texans franchise.
"It's unavoidable," said Davis, whose name also was linked to coaching vacancies at LSU last year, South Carolina the year before and several NFL jobs. "It was [distracting] the first couple of years, but it feel into the category of you can't control it.
"A lot of the rumors are started today by the competition. I used to follow coaches [into recruits' homes] and I'd go in at 8:30 and they had been there at 7 o'clock and they had swore to the kid that, 'I know for a fact he's already accepted a contract and he's going to be next head coach of the Philadelphia Eagles or wherever.' It's nothing but a lie."