...but there are a few discrepancies coming out of West Virginia.
The West Virginia Fanhouse points us to a story in the WV Metro News that states Rodriguez has given a denial that the deal is done as late as this morning.
Further, we received this article in the e-mail this morning. I hate quoting an entire article, but I can't get a link to the actual article since the Sports section of the Charleston Gazette is currently overloaded.
Rich, Alabama still talking
Report says deal for Rodriguez would be in $2 million range
By Dave Hickman
MORGANTOWN -- Rich Rodriguez walked into his Cheat Lake home at roughly 12:30 a.m. today, flipped on ESPN and found out that he was going to be Alabama's next football coach.
And what a shock that was to him.
"Where do they get this stuff,'' Rodriguez wondered, his voice sounding both bewildered and exhausted after a long day of travel.
Three Alabama newspapers and a handful of national media organizations reported late Thursday night that University of Alabama officials and the agent for Rodriguez had agreed in principal to terms of a contract that could make him the Crimson Tide's new football coach.
And while Rodriguez admitted that Mike Brown, his agent, had talked at length with UA officials, he said he didn't know anything about any agreement ready for him to sign or approve.
"Mike was getting information, that's all I know,'' Rodriguez told the Gazette early this morning. "I've not agreed to anything.''
The Press-Register of Mobile, the Birmingham News and the Tuscaloosa News each cited multiple sources as saying UA and Brown had finished hammering out the proposed deal. All of those sources, though, were Alabama based.
In West Virginia, sources close to the Mountaineer coach said that until late Thursday night Rodriguez hadn't even had a chance to discuss the situation with his family. After apparently receiving the job offer early Thursday, Rodriguez spent all Thursday afternoon and much of the night traveling to and from Jacksonville, Fla., where he attended a Gator Bowl function on behalf of West Virginia. It was a trip on which his wife, Rita, did not accompany him.
"I just walked in the door and Rita's in bed,'' Rodriguez said. "And I plan on being there very soon.''
Rodriguez hasn't even visited the Alabama campus, which those close to him insist he would do at least once before committing to any move.
"When he was considering Texas Tech [before he took the coaching job at WVU] he went down there three times before he said no,'' the source said.
All that is certain is this: Alabama athletic director Mal Moore made an offer that Brown then began looking at.
While the terms of the contract offer are unknown, the Mobile Press-Register, which first reported the story, said it was believed that Alabama's offer to Rodriguez would match the highest coaching salary now being paid in the SEC. Auburn's Tommy Tuberville is the highest-paid coach in the SEC at $2.2 million per year. Rodriguez currently makes $1 million at West Virginia.
According to the Mobile newspaper, Alabama decided late Wednesday not to wait until after the NFL season to speak directly to Miami Dolphins coach Nick Saban about the Alabama vacancy. Saban was considered by many as Alabama's top choice for the job.
A report in the Miami Herald on Thursday that Alabama approached Saban again about the job seems credible. But the contract figures the Herald reports -- $5 million per year for at least seven years, plus a $7 million signing bonus -- appear far-fetched.
If Rodriguez was seriously mulling the offer from Alabama for most of Thursday -- while his agent worked on details -- he didn't show it in his schedule. Maintaining a largely business-as-usual approach, he made the scheduled trip to Jacksonville on Thursday afternoon, where he attended a Gator Bowl meet-and-greet in the early evening and even went through a scheduled press conference there. He refused, though, to answer any questions concerning his employment future -- in part for obvious personal reasons and in part because the Gator Bowl Association asked him not to, instead asking that he focus on their game.
West Virginia plays Georgia Tech in the Gator Bowl on Jan. 1. The Mountaineers are scheduled to hold their first bowl practice today.
To contact staff writer Dave Hickman send e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Meanwhile, Hack reports that Gator Bowl officials have been told Rodriguez will not coach the Mountaineers in the game.