According to an Associated Press report on Thursday, two University of Texas regents—one current and one former—previously spoke with the agent of Alabama coach Nick Saban about the possibility of Saban leaving the Tide to coach the Longhorns.
The conversation reportedly took place a "few days after Alabama won the 2013 national championship."
Regent Wallace Hall of Dallas told the AP he spoke by telephone with agent Jimmy Sexton a few days after the Jan. 7 game. Tom Hicks, a former regent who is the brother of current Regent Steve Hicks, also was on the call. Tom Hicks, the former owner of the Texas Rangers, the Dallas Stars and the English professional soccer team Liverpool, was a regent in 1997 when Brown came to Texas and was instrumental in hiring him away from North Carolina.
Hicks later reportedly spoke with Brown and told him about the call with Saban's agent. Hicks also allegedly asked Brown if he was ready to retire, to which Brown said no.
That, of course, would be no surprise. Brown told Yahoo! Sports before the season that he had no plans to step down anytime soon. And despite how quickly things seem to be going south again for UT, the chances of Brown being fired midseason appear slim at best. Brown is tight with his bosses, athletic director DeLoss Dodds and president Bill Powers.
That doesn't mean there won't be a change at the head coaching spot eventually. It just means it won't happen next week.
Whether or not the AP report is true isn't all that important. Saban's not coming to Texas. That's not to say Texas shouldn't call if the position becomes vacant—UT can't be afraid to be told "no"—but it's simply not happening. And reports are already beginning to surface that he's not interested.
Saban has everything he could possibly want at Alabama. If it's about money, Alabama will match (and raise) anything Texas offers. If it's about resources, the administration will call up some boosters and a Golden Corral (complete with a chocolate wonderfall) will be built in the athletics office if that's what Saban requires.
You name it, Alabama will make it happen. Or, to put it simply:
I don't buy the "Saban is ready for a new challenge" thought process either, as if somehow competing in the toughest division against some of the brightest minds in major college football is boring Saban to death.
Saban's job hopped before. That's true. Who knows, he may leave Alabama before his coaching career is up. If he does, though, it won't be for another head coaching job at the college level. And anything else is a separate discussion for another day.
But if a couple of Texas regents reached out to Saban's agent to, if nothing else, gauge the coach's interest, it's hard to blame them. Saban is the best coach in the college game today.
That said, the fact that it was reportedly done with Brown still as the Longhorns' head coach is another distraction that this Texas program doesn't need right now.
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