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Alabama requests to speak with Davis

By JOE FRISARO

© St. Petersburg Times, published November 27, 2000


CORAL GABLES -- Which BCS game the Miami Hurricanes will play in isn't the only unsettled business on campus.

Athletic director Paul Dee must resolve the contract status of coach Butch Davis.

Dee confirmed Saturday that Alabama has contacted the Hurricanes seeking permission to talk with Davis about its coaching position.

"We're doing everything we can to keep him," Dee said as Miami was completing its 52-6 rout of Boston College at the Orange Bowl. "The ball is in his court. We'll see what he wants to do."

Alabama athletic director Mal Moore, who announced Oct. 31 that Mike DuBose would not return next season, called UM last week. Davis, who makes $900,000, is under contract for three more seasons.

"I want to take a couple of days of R&R," Davis told the Sun-Sentinel of Fort Lauderdale.

According to newspaper reports in Alabama, the Crimson Tide is willing to pay a substantial price for its next coach -- $1.4-million to $2-million. Florida's Steve Spurrier is the highest paid college coach at $2.1-million a year.

The next Alabama coach may face problems with the NCAA, which recently announced plans to interview coaches and student-athletes about possible violations.

PLAYING FOR IT ALL: Unless there is a shake-up in the BCS poll today, Miami (10-1) is on the outside looking in at the Jan. 3 national championship game in the Orange Bowl.

Ranked third in the BCS, Miami is hoping either second-rated FSU or top-ranked Oklahoma falls. With FSU's season complete, Miami is hoping for a Kansas State upset of the Sooners on Saturday in the Big 12 Championship Game.

"We shouldn't need to root for Kansas State," linebacker Dan Morgan said. "We deserve to play for the national championship."

Senior safety Al Blades agreed: "It's a shame we have to wait another week. We beat No. 1 Florida State. We beat No. 2 Virginia Tech. And our fate is still not in our hands."

BEST FOR LAST: Saturday's victory was perhaps Miami's most complete game of the season.

"In all three phases we performed extremely well," Davis said.

UM totaled 499 yards. Sophomore Ken Dorsey tied a school record with five touchdown passes. Senior Santana Moss caught two.

The Hurricanes allowed 298 net yards and six points to a team that was averaging 34 points.

UM's special teams returned two punts for touchdowns -- Moss for 85 yards and Daryl Jones for 87.

Dorsey, however, threw an interception, UM fumbled four times, losing one. BACK IN A MAJOR BOWL: As Big East champion, Miami has assured itself a trip to a major bowl for the first time since the '94 season.

Dee said that if the Orange Bowl doesn't select Miami, he expects the Sugar Bowl to extend an invitation and a possible matchup against Florida. Either way, Dee said, the UM program will collect $4-million. That's the share the Big East Conference has allotted to its champion. The remainder of the purse is divided evenly among the rest of the conference schools.

Dee said each team's allotment for the Orange Bowl will be $12-million and $14-million. The three other BCS games -- Sugar, Fiesta and Rose -- are projected to pay $11-million or $12-million.

Recent coverage

UM makes its point, 52 times (11/26/00)

'Canes wonder whether to pile up the points (11/25/00)

Potential exists for FSU, Miami to share title (11/24/00)

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