A University of Texas regent and a former regent spoke with Alabama coach Nick Saban's agent regarding Saban's interest in potentially replacing Longhorns coach Mack Brown, the Associated Press reports.
According to the AP's Jim Vertuno, Texas regent Wallace Hall and former regent Tom Hicks spoke with Saban's agent, Jimmy Sexton, a few days after the Crimson Tide's BCS title win over Notre Dame on Jan. 7. Two days after the call, Hicks had lunch with Brown and asked if the coach had any interest in retiring. Brown declined and the matter was dropped.
Texas went 69-9 from 2004-09 and won the 2005 BCS national title, but has gone just 23-16 since the start of the 2010 campaign. The 'Horns are currently 1-2 this season with losses to BYU and Ole Miss.
Brown's contract runs through 2020, and he has said that he plans on coaching for the remainder of his deal, which pays him $5.4 million this season, his 16th in Austin. Saban earns $5.6 million at Alabama.
The AP's report is uncertain as to how the conversation between Hall and Sexton came about:
Whether Sexton initiated the contact with Texas is unclear. He did not return a telephone message from the AP on Thursday. Alabama spokesman Jeff Turinton also declined comment.
Hall said a person he would not identify called him, unsolicited, and proposed an introduction to Sexton.
Hall told the AP that once Brown insisted that he was not ready to retire, Texas did not contact Sexton any further.
On Thursday night, Saban denied any contact with Texas or any interest in leaving Alabama. From AL.com:
"Nothing went on that I know of. I don't know about any of this stuff," Saban said. "I haven't talked to anybody about that particular situation. They have a coach there."
"Every year it's something. Last year it was the Cleveland Browns," Saban said. "The year before that it was somebody else, the NFL. Terry and I are very happy here in Tuscaloosa. We're really love the University of Alabama. We really feel like a part of the community here and we have a lot of good friends here."
[...]"And, quite frankly," Saban said, "I'm just too damn old to start over somewhere else."