"Some of the criteria in which I used to reach this decision were as follows:
- having impeccable professional and personal integrity
- having been a championship coach
- having a strong academic record with his student-athletes
- having the complete ability to relate and understand the problems of today's student-athletes
- having the ability to continue to move the University's football program forward and compete for championships on a conference and national level
"During the process, one of my chief advisors was one of our former players and the current General Manager of the Baltimore Ravens, Ozzie Newsome. Ozzie helped in critiquing all the candidates, and he told me that Mike Price was without question one of the best coaches for this job; and Ozzie noted that the best thing about Mike was his personal integrity. His ability to relate to the athletes was unquestioned. His ability to lead the University forward was unquestioned.
"I also called personally and talked at length to David Price, Mark Jones and Shep Cooper of the NCAA staff and Commissioner Mike Slive of the SEC Office to ensure that each candidate we considered had a complete record of compliance to all rules and regulations. I want to thank each of those gentlemen for their forthrightness and candor in discussing coaching prospects with me.
"At the same time, I explained to Mike the sanctions under which he and his staff would be working if he accepted the job. I also told Mike up front last Thursday that the job had been offered to Mike Riley. This did not deter Coach Price from visiting Tuscaloosa.
"There is a right time and place for an individual to make a bold step into the future. Mike Price took this step by accepting this position. I can state without any hesitation, I am completely satisfied with the process the University utilized in reaching this conclusion to offer the position to Coach Price.
"Even more importantly, I am 100 percent confident he is the right person for the University of Alabama. During the last two weeks, a number of fans have expressed their support for many different candidates, most of whom had legitimate credentials.
"It is now time for all the supporters of the University of Alabama football program to do their part by uniting behind Coach Price and the Crimson Tide football team.