Buzz Persists Around Bama Coaching Search

West Virginia Head Coach Rich Rodriguez and Alabama Director of Athletics Mal Moore spoke for an hour and a half about the vacant football head coaching position at the University of Alabama Tuesday, according to reports out of New York where the National Football Foundation Hall of Fame annual banquet hosted college coaches and administrators from around the country Tuesday night.

Rodriguez told's Ivan Maisel the meeting last 25-30 minutes, but his wife Rita corrected that the meeting lasted 90 minutes. The meeting was termed as a get-to-know-you session by the participants, the report said, and did not involve the specifics of any offer or acceptance.

Rodriguez, who has been head coach at West Virginia for six seasons, has been the focal point of those following the Alabama coaching search since South Carolina's Steve Spurrier reiterated his desire to stay in South Carolina last Thursday and subsequently agreed to a new contract with South Carolina.

Moore has been scarce since announcing the firing Mike Shula nine days ago on November 27. As of Wednesday morning Moore planned on attending the Alabama-Notre Dame basketball game Thursday night in South Bend, Indiana, according to his office. The basketball team plans to arrive in Notre Dame the day of the game, but Moore was never expected to be traveling with the team.

A person answering the phone in the West Virginia football offices Wednesday at 11:30 a.m. Central said Rodriguez was downstairs working out, and a message left with Rodriguez's office was not immediately returned.

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported through anonymous sources that Alabama would have to act fast to get Rodriguez, but reporting in Alabama, and statements from Moore's office, have indicated that Moore has no intention of rushing the process. sources have indicated Rodriguez had a high level of interest in the Alabama job.

Amid rumor of an imminent announcement, reporters staked out the Tuscaloosa airport awaiting Moore's arrival from New York. A plane from Teeterboro, New Jersey (the airport that services private air travel into New York), arrived in Tuscaloosa at 1:17 p.m. central according to, beckoning the Tuscaloosa News headline "BREAKING NEWS: Moore in Tuscaloosa, but no coach on the plane." Moore didn't elucidate on the search, and has maintained a low-key manner as he promised when he fired Mike Shula.

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