Originally created 11/28/98

College notes: Tulane's Bowden making the rounds in Palmetto state



COLUMBIA, S.C. -- USC athletics director Dr. Mike McGee takes his crack at Tulane coach Tommy Bowden today after Clemson AD Bobby Robinson interviewed Bowden on Friday.

Bowden is believed to be one of at least five candidates for the Gamecocks' job, which came open when Brad Scott was fired Monday after a 1-10 season.

The other candidates are former Notre Dame coach Lou Holtz, Miami coach Butch Davis, Virginia Tech coach Frank Beamer and USC offensive coordinator Chuck Reedy.

"At this point in time, every coach in the country is evaluating what's best for him and his family," Bowden said.

USC and Beamer could meet as early as Monday. Clemson is expected to meet with Beamer on Sunday. Beamer's season ends on Saturday with a game against Virginia.

Davis is occupied with a game at Syracuse on Saturday and a home contest against UCLA on Dec. 5.

When contacted Friday, McGee would not comment on his search, which still seems to revolve around whether Holtz, 61, wants to get back into coaching after two years away from the game.

Holtz, a college football analyst on CBS' studio show, said Friday that he is still weighing "personal concerns" before returning to coaching.

"Before you can take a job, you have to look and say 'Can I afford to alter my present situation.' I have personal concerns that are my top priority at the present time," Holtz said.

ON THE CLOCK:

Mississippi coach Tommy Tuberville reportedly had a deadline of midnight on Friday to tell Auburn officials whether or not he would become the Tigers' next head coach.

Tuberville, 44, denied he had a scheduled meeting with Auburn officials on Friday. The Rebels concluded their regular season Thursday night with a 28-6 loss to Mississippi State and Tuberville was then free to talk with other schools.

The Mobile Register reported in its Friday edition that Tuberville would travel to Auburn on Friday and be offered a five-year deal to take the job that became open when Terry Bowden resigned Oct. 23.

School officials wanted Tuberville to either accept or reject the offer by midnight so they could proceed with a Saturday announcement, the newspaper reported.

Tuberville, 25-20 in four seasons at Ole Miss, has maintained that he is not a candidate for Auburn's job.

"Nothing has changed from three weeks ago to today," Tuberville said Thursday night. "As far as I know, I will be back. No one has offered and I am not looking."

But when pressed for an answer, Tuberville later admitted that he had a tough decision to make.

"It's hard to think about making a move, it's a hard decision," he said.

Auburn is expected to name its new coach by the weekend. If it isn't Tuberville, Temple coach Bobby Wallace is believed to be second on the list. Wallace was an assistant under former Auburn coach Pat Dye.

Ole Miss officials are expected to make a push to keep Tuberville, who has found success in Oxford despite inheriting a program under a two-year NCAA probation. The Rebels lost 26 scholarships and Tuberville had only five seniors on this season's 6-5 team.

Tuberville makes about $400,000 a year at Ole Miss, with an annuity that could be worth another $150,000. Auburn is expected to offer him a five-year deal with the total package worth about $4.5 million.

Ole Miss offensive coordinator Noel Mazzone said Thursday Tuberville had called a staff meeting for Friday morning, but Mazzone said he did not know the nature of the meeting.