When Will We Know?

Two state newspaper outlets issued carefully worded reports Thursday night indicating Rich Rodriguez had accepted an offer from the University of Alabama to become the school's next head football coach, but neither Alabama or West Virginia officials could confirm that a deal was in place between Alabama and Rodriguez as of late Thursday evening.

The Mobile Press-Register said there was "an agreement in principle for Rodriguez to take the head coaching job" between the University of Alabama and Rodriguez's agent, Mike Brown. "The deal is contigent (sic) upon Rodriguez's acceptance," the report, which relied on unnamed sources, told the Mobile Paper.

The Birmingham News, also citing unnamed sources "close to the search", said that Rodriguez himself "told Alabama officials he is ready to take the job."

Alabama Associate Athletics Director Doug Walker said he could not confirm either report when reached by phone Thursday night. Calls placed to the home of Alabama Athletics Director Mal Moore and West Virginia Athletics Director Ed Pastilong were not answered.

Rodriguez has been the focal point of the Bama coaching search coverage since last week, when it was reported that South Carolina's Steve Spurrier quieted speculation that he was heading to Alabama.

The Charleston Gazette in West Virginia said its sources close to Rodriguez "seemed bewildered at the reports, say that as of Thursday evening Rodriguez hadn't even had a chance to discus the situation with his family."

Cecil Hurt of the Tuscaloosa News reported that a deal between Alabama and Rodriguez was close, but that the West Virginia Coach "had not directly accepted the offer" of a job from the University of Alabama.

Alabama announced the firing Mike Shula on Monday, November 27.

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