Rodriguez Gets New Deal, Bama Looks Elsewhere

West Virginia Head Coach Rich Rodriguez's flirtation with the head football coaching position at the University of Alabama ended coldly Friday when he turned down an offer to replace Mike Shula to remain a Mountaineer.

Rodriguez said he never agreed to anything, despite reports that went nationwide Thursday night about a deal being struck to bring Rodriguez to Alabama.

"That was incorrect," Rodriguez said when asked about reports of University of Alabama sources who said a agreement had been reached. "Totally incorrect. I don't know where that came from but that was totally incorrect. There was no truth to that."

"There was never a point that I agreed and Alabama agreed and said 'Listen, we've got this thing going and let's get this thing done.' There was never an agreement," he said.

But Rodriguez declined to answer a question about where his agent was during the discussions with Alabama, saying he didn't want to get into the subject.

Mike Brown, Rodriguez's agent, was rumored to have been in Tuscaloosa talking directly with Mal Moore on Thursday.

A West Virginia sports information department representative said Rodriguez had agreed on a pay raise with WVU, but the university would not disclose the terms of that deal. Rodriguez also sought to counter the idea that he was simply using Alabama to receive a raise.

"When you get a call like you do from Alabama and if you're a college football fan you see, 'Holy cow, it's from Alabama. I think I gotta take this call. It was certainly flattering," Rodriguez said. "Mal Moore, I think is a first class top of the line AD and the University of Alabama did everything in a first class manner. The reason I'm staying is not because there was any reason not to go. The University of Alabama has great tradition. It's a great university, and they did everything first class, but there were just so many reasons to stay, is why I'm still at West Virginia."

Rodriguez said he, along with his wife, made the decision to turn down Alabama Friday afternoon.

"It was 2:30-2:45 p.m. (Eastern) or so until Rita and I were sitting down and discussing it and we said we're going to stay. I called Mike (Brown, agent), told the team and went straight to practice."

Brown, the agent, contacted Moore to inform him of Rodriguez's final decision to remain at West Virginia. Moore, in a statement, said, "I fully respect his decision and wish him the best."

"I remain determined to bring to our program a proven head coach with impressive credentials," Moore said. "While I am hoping to conclude the search soon, following a timeline is not my main priority."

The University declined all interview requests for Moore on Friday.

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