Reports May Vary

Several reports on the status of Mike Shula's future as the head coach of the University of Alabama football team have surfaced since Alabama's 22-15 loss to Auburn on Saturday night, but no definitive news had yet been substantiated regarding his future as of Tuesday night.

On Monday, the Huntsville Times said Shula's future was "likely" secure for 2007.

But on Monday afternoon, rumors ran rampant on the Internet that Board members had recommended Mike Shula be fired, and that a final decision was eminent. Those rumors were picked up by some radio and television outlets before later being contradicted by subsequent reporting.

On Tuesday morning, The Huntsville Times, Birmingham News and Mobile Register all described decisions concerning Mike Shula's future as in limbo, and that no decisions had been made. The front page of the Tuscaloosa News headline read "Is UA in the market for a new coach?" and quoted Alabama Director of Media Relations Doug Walker as saying "There is nothing to tell you at this point."

On Tuesday afternoon the Huntsville Times reported that Shula would be retained for the 2007 season with program changes and possibly staff changes (that's covering a lot of bases in itself), citing "a knowledgeable source" who wished to remain anonymous. The report said the University had "no intention" of replacing Shula.

The Tuscaloosa News' Cecil Hurt, on its web site later Tuesday reported that no decision had been made on Shula's future, citing athletic department officials.

As of Tuesday afternoon, Walker told that Director of Athletics Mal Moore was not available for comment, and that no statement from his office was immediately forthcoming.

Several factors, including reports that University President Robert E. Witt was out of town and that Moore was preparing to leave campus for the Holiday, indicated that no decision would be forthcoming before the Thanksgiving Holiday.

Alabama football players had a meeting with the staff on Sunday afternoon and were dismissed for the week. Classes at The University are in session through Wednesday, but many students have already left Tuscaloosa, and more will leave Wednesday. A logical expectation of word on Shula's future is not before early next week when the principles return to campus.

Sources told that Shula has met with Moore and that staff meetings have proceeded as if Shula will return next season.

BamaMag Top Stories