Texas prez rebuts Nick Saban talk

Updated: December 6, 2013, 2:50 AM ET
ESPN.com news services

University of Texas president Bill Powers denied Thursday that the Longhorns are looking to hire Alabama coach Nick Saban to replace Mack Brown.

"I've never met Nick Saban. I've never talked to Nick Saban. We have not hired Nick Saban," Powers told the Austin American-Statesman. "Mack's our coach, and I can say flatly that the rumors we have hired or come to an agreement with Nick Saban or even talked to him are false."

In October, The Associated Press reported that regent Wallace Hall, one of Powers' top critics, and former regent Tom Hicks spoke with Saban's agent in January about the possibility of Saban coaching at Texas. Tom Hicks is the brother of current regent Steve Hicks, one of the board's two athletic liaisons and a key Powers ally. That conversation took place just a few days after Alabama won the national championship and Texas had wrapped up a 9-4 season that included a bowl victory under Brown.

Powers on Thursday acknowledged that meeting to the American-Statesman.

"There was an outreach to his agent, and I exempt that from this discussion," he told the newspaper. "Whatever happened then happened. We don't have any plans one way or the other (to replace Brown). And we don't have an opening."

According to the newspaper, Tom Hicks spoke with Brown after that meeting about Saban potentially being his replacement, and Brown said he did not plan on resigning, so the conversation with Saban's camp ended.

Brown came under fire early this season as the Longhorns lost two of their first three games. However, they then won six straight before falling to No. 6 Oklahoma State, and they remain in contention for the Big 12 title as they prepare to face No. 9 Baylor on Saturday.

"I know this -- (Brown's status) is on a lot of people's minds," Powers told the American-Statesman, "but people are focused on the Baylor game."

Brown received a four-year contract extension in January 2012 that runs through the end of the 2020 season.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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