There is a paper trail on Texas flirting with Nick Saban

Rob Carr

AP has an email from former UT Regent Tom Hicks detailing the initial contact with Nick Saban's agent -- and it couldn't come out at a worse time for Saban.

A former UT regent and current regent were told last January by the agent for Nick Saban that the University of Texas was the only program Saban would consider leaving Alabama for.

Saban's agent, Jimmy Sexton, made the comment during a 45-minutes conversation with former UT Regent Tom Hicks and current regent Wallace Hall. Sexton also mentioned in the call that the success Saban had enjoyed at Alabama had put him under "special pressure." Saban and 'Bama have won 3 out of the last 4 National Championships are are currently ranked #1 in the BCS poll.

Hicks detailed the call in a Sept. 24 e-mail that was obtained Tuesday by the AP through an open-records request. Hicks sent the e-mail to his brother Steve, a current regent five days after the AP first reported that the call had taken place.

"Sexton confirmed that UT is the only job Nick would possibly consider leaving Alabama for, and that his success there created special pressure for him," Hicks wrote.

The revelation of a paper trail gives the "Texas Flirting With Saban" story legs at exactly the wrong time for Saban. His team is preparing for the biggest regular season game of the year against LSU, and this distraction is not part of his "process."

Saban's history of changing jobs, along with his famous denial of leaving the Miami Dolphins for Alabama days before doing so, will ensure that this story will stay in the public spotlight for a few days.

It doesn't help all the swirling winds of uncertainty around UT either. Already this week you have Texas picking Arizona State Athletics Director Steve Patterson as the new Longhorn AD, while the football team, left by the side of the road after losses to BYU and Ole Miss, suddenly finds itself 5-0 in Big 12 play and on the road for a crucial game against West Virginia.

So Mack Brown, faced with a new boss and stories of others wanting to ease him off the Longhorn stage, no doubt will be peppered with questions about the Saban story as well.

There is an old Chinese curse:  "May you live In interesting times."

It certainly is that on the 40 Acres right now.


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