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Texas Regent Talked To Saban's Agent

Updated: Thursday, September 19 2013, 10:53 PM CDT

A few days after Alabama won the 2013 national championship, a
University of Texas regent and a former regent talked with Nick Saban's
agent about the possibility of the Crimson Tide coach replacing
Longhorns coach Mack Brown, The Associated Press has learned.

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 club Liverpool, was a regent in 1997
when Brown came to Texas and was instrumental in hiring him away from
North Carolina.


Two days after the call with Sexton, Tom Hicks met with Brown over
lunch and told him about the call, according to several people who spoke
with the AP. He asked Brown if he was ready to retire.


Brown, who had just finished his 15th season at Texas, said he wanted to keep coaching and the matter was dropped.


On his weekly radio show Thursday night, Saban said he didn't know
anything about the meeting and said he's too old to start over someplace
else. He also joked about Sexton talking to another school.


"That's what they're supposed to do. That's why I hired the guy. That's why I pay him," Saban said.


"Nothing went on that I know of. I mean, I don't know about any of
this stuff. I haven't talked to anybody about that particular situation.
They have a coach there that I've got a lot of respect for. Every year
it's something. Last year, it was the Cleveland Browns. The year before
it was something else, going back to the NFL," Saban said. "But (wife)
Terry and I are very happy here in Tuscaloosa. We really love the
University of Alabama."


Brown, who is under contract until 2020 and will be paid $5.4 million
this year, won the 2005 national title and lost to Saban's Alabama team
in the 2010 championship game. The Longhorns are 23-18 since that
defeat and Brown is under fire from fans upset about a 1-2 start this
year after consecutive lopsided losses to BYU and Mississippi.


Brown has said he plans to coach through his contract. But three
sub-par seasons and two consecutive losses this season have led to
speculation about Brown's future, and Saban is often mentioned as a
potential replacement.


Saban has won four national championships, one with LSU in 2003 and
three with Alabama after the 2009, 2011 and 2012 seasons. Saban earns
$5.6 million per year, but Texas — the nation's wealthiest athletic
program — could certainly afford him.


Whether Sexton initiated the contact with Texas is unclear. He did
not return a telephone message from the AP on Thursday. Alabama
spokesman Jeff Purinton also declined comment.


Hall said a person he would not identify called him, unsolicited, and proposed an introduction to Sexton.


"I notified then-chairman Gene Powell, who then informed vice
chairman and athletic liaison Steve Hicks, which resulted in a
conference call with Mr. Sexton," Hall said in a prepared statement to
the AP. "Introductions were made and then I withdrew from the process."


Tom Hicks declined comment on the call and the meeting with Brown.
Steve Hicks told the AP he was in Australia the second week in January
and said he never talked to Sexton, Brown or Saban, "or authorized
anyone to do so."


"Wallace Hall brought this to the chairman and myself. Nothing was
authorized by the board and the chairman and myself thought the board
should not be involved," Steve Hicks said. "Tom and Mack are friends and
talk often. They simply visited and just talked the idea through. It
was dropped and nothing happened ... It was a short conversation."


Powell did not respond to messages seeking comment.


Joe Jamail, a billionaire trial lawyer who is one of the top donors
to Texas, is Brown's attorney. When asked about the conference call with
Sexton and the lunch meeting, Jamail suggested Hall was acting on his
own and threatened to sue anyone outside the university if they try to
pressure Brown to resign.


"If there are any more, get ready for a lawsuit," Jamail said. "Mack has publicly stated he wants to coach."


After Brown and Tom Hicks spoke, Sexton was informed that Brown would
not retire, Hall said Thursday. He said he has not been in further
contact with Sexton and didn't know if anyone else from the university
had spoken with the agent.


Hall is under impeachment investigation by the state House of
Representatives and lawmakers have complained that he has tried to force
out university President Bill Powers, who has been a strong advocate
for Brown. Steve Hicks has been among the regents backing Powers in a
public spat that has embroiled the board members and state lawmakers for
more than a year.


A spokesman for Powers said the president was unaware of the call with Saban's agent or the meeting with Brown.


The conversation has been rumored for months. That a regent
participated — whether on behalf of the board or on his own —
underscores the pressure Brown is under to turn around his struggling
program.


Texas went 69-9 from 2004-2009. But the Longhorns slid to 5-7 in 2010
before seasons of 8-5 in 2011 and 9-4 in 2012. With 19 returning
starters, Brown suggested before the season that Texas was on the verge
of returning to national prominence. Instead, the losses to BYU and Ole
Miss have left Brown fending off questions about his future every week.


On Monday, Brown dismissed "rumors" about his job.


"They've been swirling for 16 years," Brown said.

(Copyright 2013 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)Texas Regent Talked To Saban's Agent


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Scores & Schedules

October 25, 2014 07:09 GMT

Latest results and upcoming games

WORLD SERIES

Friday - Game 3

Kansas City 3, San Francisco 2

(Royals lead series 2-1)

Saturday - Game 4

Kansas City (Vargas 11-10) at San Francisco (Vogelsong 8-13), 8:07 p.m.

TOP 25 COLLEGE FOOTBALL

Friday's Game

(6) Oregon 59, California 41

Saturday's Games

No. 1 Mississippi State at Kentucky, 3:30 p.m.

No. 3 Mississippi at No. 24 LSU, 7:15 p.m.

No. 4 Alabama at Tennessee, 7:30 p.m.

No. 5 Auburn vs. South Carolina, 7:30 p.m.

No. 8 Michigan State vs. Michigan, 3:30 p.m.

No. 10 TCU vs. Texas Tech, 3:30 p.m.

No. 11 Kansas State vs. Texas, Noon

No. 13 Ohio State at Penn State, 8 p.m.

No. 14 Arizona State at Washington, 10:45 p.m.

No. 15 Arizona at Washington State, 5 p.m.

No. 16 Nebraska vs. Rutgers, Noon

No. 19 Utah vs. No. 20 Southern Cal, 10 p.m.

No. 21 Clemson vs. Syracuse, 7 p.m.

No. 22 West Virginia at Oklahoma State, 3:30 p.m.

No. 23 Marshall vs. FAU, 3:30 p.m.

No. 25 UCLA at Colorado, 2 p.m.

NHL

Friday's Games

Dallas 3, New Jersey 2, SO

Tampa Bay 4, Winnipeg 2

Colorado 7, Vancouver 3

Edmonton 6, Carolina 3

Anaheim 4, Columbus 1

Saturday's Games

Buffalo at San Jose, 4 p.m.

Boston at Toronto, 7 p.m.

N.Y. Rangers at Montreal, 7 p.m.

New Jersey at Ottawa, 7 p.m.

Dallas at N.Y. Islanders, 7 p.m.

Detroit at Philadelphia, 7 p.m.

Chicago at St. Louis, 8 p.m.

Pittsburgh at Nashville, 8 p.m.

Tampa Bay at Minnesota, 8 p.m.

Florida at Arizona, 9 p.m.

Washington at Calgary, 10 p.m.

MLS

Friday's Games

Chicago 2, Houston 1

Saturday's Games

Los Angeles at Seattle FC, 3 p.m.

D.C. United at Montreal, 4 p.m.

Toronto FC at New England, 7:30 p.m.

Portland at FC Dallas, 8:30 p.m.

Colorado at Vancouver, 10 p.m.

NFL

Friday-Saturday

No games scheduled

Sunday's Games

Detroit vs. Atlanta at London, 9:30 a.m.

St. Louis at Kansas City, 1 p.m.

Houston at Tennessee, 1 p.m.

Minnesota at Tampa Bay, 1 p.m.

Seattle at Carolina, 1 p.m.

Baltimore at Cincinnati, 1 p.m.

Miami at Jacksonville, 1 p.m.

Chicago at New England, 1 p.m.

Buffalo at N.Y. Jets, 1 p.m.

Philadelphia at Arizona, 4:05 p.m.

Oakland at Cleveland, 4:25 p.m.

Indianapolis at Pittsburgh, 4:25 p.m.

Green Bay at New Orleans, 8:30 p.m.

Open: N.Y. Giants, San Francisco

Monday's Game

Washington at Dallas, 8:30 p.m.

NBA PRESEASON

Friday's Games

Dallas 117, Orlando 92

Toronto 83, New York 80

Minnesota 113, Chicago 112

Miami 104, Memphis 98

Houston 96, San Antonio 87

Phoenix 105, Utah 100

Sacramento 93, L.A. Lakers 92

Golden State 119, Denver 112

Portland 99, L-A Clippers 89

Saturday

No games scheduled

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