Richardson Has Long Meeting With Tuberville

An update is featured on a meeting with the head football coach along with an update on the search for a new athletic director.

Auburn, Ala.--Auburn University interim president Dr. Ed Richardson has accelerated his schedule to negotiate a new contract with head football coach Tommy Tuberville and he also appears to be very close to naming a new athletic director.

Richardson had said on Friday he was planning to talk with the SEC Football Coach of the Year after Auburn's Sugar Bowl game on Jan. 3rd about an improved contract, but had a change of plans as he met with Tuberville for approximately 90 minutes Monday afternoon after the coach wrapped up a two-hour bowl practice.

Richardson called it a positive meeting in which there was general agreement between the coach and the president about the direction they would move in terms of a contract.

Tuberville's total compensation package is worth $1.5 million annually, but he does not have a guaranteed contract like some other high profile coaches and that is likely a topic for the negotiations.

Tuberville said last week that his main concern on the financial front is to make sure his assistant coaches receive raises following the 12-0 season because he is impressed with the current staff and would like to continue to work with the group.

Richardson said specifics were not nailed down on Monday, but numbers and ranges for the contract were discussed. Richardson told the coach he hopes to have a written proposal for a new contract for Tuberville by the end of the week.

The coach and the interim president are expected to resume discussions on Tuesday on a contract that Richardson said would make the AU head coach one of the higher paid coaches in the Southeastern Conference. However, Richardson did not mention any specific figures with negotiations still going on.

While he is moving to get ahead of his original schedule in dealing with Tuberville, the president is behind his earlier announced schedule on when he would name a successor to athletic director David Housel, who leaves the post at the end of the calendar year.

Richardson is expected to choose between Auburn's senior associate athletic director for development, Jay Jacobs, Dan Radokovich, senior associate athletics director at LSU, Greg McGarity, who is associate athletic director for internal affairs at the University of Florida and former AU football kicker Scott Etheridge, a television financial executive with NBC.

Richardson said none of the candidates have been ruled out of the process and noted that he will have one more "information session" on Tuesday before he announces a decision, which he plans to make Tuesday afternoon.

Richardson noted on Monday evening that every time he has been close to making a decision he would receive more information that he decided to consider before making his selection.

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