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Saban is staying as LSU coach

Wire services
Published January 11, 2004

BATON ROUGE, La. - Coach Nick Saban announced Saturday he will stay at LSU, one day after talking to the Chicago Bears about their job opening.

"That's not something I'm interested in doing right now. I'm very happy to be the coach here," Saban said. "We're looking forward to the challenges of making LSU a dominant program in the future."

Saban led the Tigers to a share of their first national title since 1958, triggering a clause in his contract that guarantees him becoming the highest-paid coach in college football.

Saban, the AP coach of the year, made $1.5-million last year and is in line for a raise to at least $1 more than Oklahoma's Bob Stoops, who makes $2.3-million a year.

Saban hasn't signed a contract extension but said he was pleased with the progress of negotiations. He has experience as an NFL assistant and met Friday with Bears general manager Jerry Angelo, a longtime friend. Saban did not say whether he was offered an NFL job.

TEXAS A&M: Quarterback Reggie McNeal had shoulder surgery Friday and will be limited in spring drills. The operation repaired torn cartilage in his right shoulder.

USF: The team named Brian Fisher and J.R. Reed the offensive and defensive MVPs, respectively. Reed, a senior free safety from Tampa, broke his school record with seven interceptions in 2003 and established a career record with 18. Fisher, a junior receiver/quarterback from Pensacola, had 28 catches for 246 yards, passed for 107 yards, ran for 134 and averaged 9 yards on 47 punt returns.

CLARETT CASE: A lawyer for suspended Ohio State tailback Maurice Clarett said he's willing to resume settlement discussions in the player's misdemeanor case. Clarett is accused of filing a campus police report that exaggerated the value of items stolen from a dealership car he borrowed in April. He has pleaded innocent to the falsification charge. Squire said he plans to resume discussions Monday with the city's lead prosecutor, Stephen McIntosh.

East-West Shrine Game

WEST 28, EAST 7: UNLV's Larry Croom scored two touchdowns and UCLA linebacker Brandon Chillar returned an interception 56 yards for a score for the West in the annual all-star game in San Francisco. Pittsburgh quarterback Rod Rutherford scored for the East on a 1-yard keeper in the second quarter.

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