By Jay Coulter
Numerous media outlets in Arkansas are reporting tonight that Tommy Tuberville has agreed to become the new Razorback head coach.
Matt Turner of KWNA reports that “multiple sources tell KNWA that Auburn’s Tommy Tuberville will be Arkansas’ next head football coach.”
Update 9:20 p.m. CT: Here’s another report from KFSM in Ft. Smith, Arkansas…
“Various sources tell 5NEWS that such a deal may be close but it isn’t a sure thing. Sources say Cowboy’s owner Jerry Jones has been a major player in the brokerage of a deal. Jones is reportedly not only agreeing to cough up money to get Tuberville but to pay his assistants top money as well.”
Update 9:37 p.m. : Is this a crazy night or what? We still have no firm confirmation other than what’s being reported in Arkansas. Tuberville said this a few hours ago on his weekly radio show (from al.com)…
Auburn coach Tommy Tuberville said Thursday he’s not going to rush through his negotiations with university officials toward a new contract despite “a sense of urgency outside in the public eye, but contracts take forever.”
Tuberville also told his weekly Tiger Talk radio audience that “I’m not looking to go anywhere.”
The taped interview came as various Arkansas media outlets reported Thursday night that Tuberville is on the verge of signing a contract with the Razorbacks. A source who talked to Tuberville on Thursday evening denied the reports.
“We’re not going to run and jump through this,” Tuberville said. “I’m looking to make sure that people understand for us to get better, this program needs to take some steps in some areas for us to improve.”
Tuberville also said, “What we’ve done – and what we’ll probably do for another week – is sit down and look at the best circumstances for this team and program. There are a lot of variables you need to look.”
Update 9:52 p.m. : ESPN’s Jim Donnan reports Tommy Tuberville has not accepted the Arkansas job. Len Pasqarelli reports Tub’s agent, Jimmy Sexton, also denies Tub is going to Fayetteville.
Update 10:13 p.m. : Here’s another story from Arkansas360.com. Thanks to Bodagetta for the lead…
No contract is signed, but Auburn coach Tommy Tuberville appears to be considering an offer to become the Arkansas Razorbacks’ next football coach, multiple sources tell ArkansasSports360.com.
However, sources in Alabama claim that Tuberville says he has not spoken with Arkansas officials about the job. Tuberville was in Arkansas on Thursday on a duck hunting trip with a close friend from Helena. Birmingham sportswriter Charles Goldberg also reported on his blog that a source said Tuberville had not talked with Arkansas.
Any official announcement may not come until Saturday, and perhaps not until Monday The sources who believe the deal is close with Tuberville still say negotiations continue for some of Tuberville’s wishes concerning assistant coaches pay and other details about football operations.
Other organizations are also now reporting it, including KNWA-TV in Fayetteville.
The 53-year-old Tuberville, a native of Camden, was the finalist for the Arkansas job in 1997 when the position eventually went to Houston Nutt. Nutt left the job Monday, after 10 years, to become head football coach at Ole Miss. Tuberville was Ole Miss’ coach at the time Arkansas first came courting. He left Ole Miss for Auburn after the 1998 season.
Two members of the Board of Trustees who asked not to be named told AS360.com late Thursday night that they knew nothing of the dealings with Tuberville.
Update 10:32 p.m. : There continues to be conflicting reports flying around the internet tonight. Is there something to it? When the mainstream media reports it, you have to take it serious. In the last hour or so we’ve had media reports going both ways – some saying he’s gone, others saying not so fast. We’ll continue to monitor the situation tonight and bring you any updates we get.
Updated Friday, 5:43 a.m. : We are still waiting on Tommy Tuberville to make a comment regarding multiple reports that he’s going to be the next head coach at Arkansas. He’s due back in Auburn today.
Last night, athletic director Jay Jacobs said he still expects Tuberville to be the head coach at Auburn.
“I don’t see anything changing,” Jacobs told the Opelika-Auburn News Thursday night. “I’m looking forward to Tommy being the coach at Auburn for a long, long time.”
Jacobs also said Arkansas officials hadn’t contacted him for permission to speak with Tuberville. Tuberville’s contract requires any school interested in Tuberville to receive permission from Jacobs before negotiating with the coach.
Another source close to the negotiations said the reports are “just rumors” and that Tuberville has not accepted an offer from Arkansas. Tuberville’s Auburn contract currently runs through 2011. He is slated to make an average of $3.1 million over the next four years. (From Opelika-Auburn News)
We’ll continue to monitor events as they happen.