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Contract Extension for Mal Moore?

This is some interesting news breaking in the athletic department, courtesy of Gentry Estes:

A deal is in the works that would extend Moore's contract beyond its current expiration date of June 30, 2011, according to multiple sources. Discussions have taken place for the 70-year-old Moore to stay in his current role perhaps through 2014, though any extension needs approval from the UA System Board of Trustees.

"It's been generally discussed," said one source close to the situation, "but I don't think there's anything concrete yet."

Interesting stuff.

From the outset, I really didn't expect Mal to hang it up eleven months from now at the expiration of his current contract. It has always been a possibility, mind you, but I always expected that Mal would probably receive another one-year extension and stick around a tad bit longer. After all, he's in good health and with his wife having passed, he's probably looking for something to do, if nothing else, and it's hard to find anything better than to be a key figure for your beloved alma mater during a time that expects to produce a string of successful seasons on a historic level. On the other hand, though, this is his seventeenth year in the athletic department, and his eleventh year as athletics director, so given that history I didn't think he would be around long-term. When you start talking about extending through 2014, however, you have another story.

Now, admittedly, you do need to keep in mind the proper context of the power structure within our athletic department. As I've written here many times, Mal is effectively a figurehead at this point, and has been for a couple of years now. Saban makes the football decisions, and Dave Hart runs the day-to-day operations of the athletic department. The main job for Mal Moore is fund-raising, though it should be noted that Mal has done very well in that regard.

Nevertheless, consider this good news. With the notable exception of Textbookgate, things have generally worked very well in the athletic department and on the football field lately. Facilities are better than ever, revenues and profits are higher than ever, and the athletic product on the gridiron is as competitive as ever. And just as important, we haven't seen the clashes between the head coach, the president, and the AD that we have seen in much of the post-Bryant era. Oh sure, Mal may be a figurehead at this point, but even so the Saban, Witt, Moore triumvirate has been a glowing success the past three years, so a continuation of the status quo can hardly be considered a bad thing.