By RICK STROUD
© St. Petersburg Times, published January 25, 2001
TAMPA -- One day after confirming that the Bucs are not for sale, the franchise had to deal with rumors that Bill Parcells had been contacted about becoming coach.
It's believed Parcells recently was contacted by a representative of Eddie DeBartolo to inquire whether, if DeBartolo became the Buccaneers owner, he would consider returning to the sideline.
That development spawned more speculation at Super Bowl XXXV Wednesday that, had the rumor that DeBartolo was going to buy the team been true, Parcells might have replaced Tony Dungy as Bucs coach next season.
"I heard that yesterday," Dungy said. "I was flattered."
Parcells was in Tampa Bay on Wednesday, but he didn't meet with DeBartolo or Bucs owner Malcolm Glazer. He was here to present Broncos quarterback Brian Griese with the NFL All-Heart Performance Award.
Parcells, who resigned several weeks ago as the Jets general manager, said he has no plans to return to football. But then, the Tuna always leaves himself room to wiggle off the hook the way he did before returning to coach the Patriots and Jets.
"I did change my mind (then)," Parcells said. "This is America. You can do that."