Sports Outside the Beltway

Saban Out as Alabama Candidate

Nick Saban, who has repeatedly denied being interested in the Alabama job and for whom it would have been an obvious step down, is finally officially no longer considered a candidate.

Miami Dolphins coach Nick Saban on Sunday again denied interest in the vacant head football coaching position at the University of Alabama. And for the first time, a source familiar with the search from Alabama’s side said the university has been told that Saban does not want to be a candidate, and that Alabama no longer considers him one.

Now the search to replace the recently fired Mike Shula focuses on West Virginia coach Rich Rodriguez and Wake Forest coach Jim Grobe, according to two sources close to the search.


Grobe, the reigning Atlantic Coast Conference coach of the year, did not address the Alabama situation following the announcement that his team would play Louisville in the Orange Bowl.

Rodriguez, who grew angry with constant questions about his interest in the Alabama job before his game Saturday, released a statement instead of addressing the media when it was announced that his Mountaineers would play Georgia Tech in the Gator Bowl. The statement addressed only the bowl game.

Coaches currently employed by other schools obviously can not express interest in other jobs without seeming to be disloyal. I can’t imagine either Grobe or Rodriguez would turn down the job, though, if offered. It’s as big a step up for them as it would have been down for Saban.

Regardless, reports are that the search is getting “sensitive,” with active discussions underway with agents and potential candidates.

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