This is one of many. If this happens, the Dolphins would have another setback for another decade.

Report: Saban 'expected' to interview at Alabama this week

By Alex Marvez
Posted December 3 2006, 9:24 AM EST

Despite having publicly denied interest in the position, Dolphins coach Nick Saban is expected to interview this week for the head coaching vacancy at the University of Alabama, an Alabama newspaper reported Sunday.

Quoting anonymous sources, the Huntsville Times reported that the university was set to make a push to speak with Saban as well as West Virginia coach Rich Rodriguez. Alabama is looking to replace Mike Shula, a former Dolphins assistant who was recently fired after four seasons as the Crimson Tide's head coach.


Saban wasn't immediately available for comment Sunday morning as his team prepared for today's home game against Jacksonville.

Saban said last Monday that he hadn't been contacted by Alabama and "I don't care to be. I have a job to do here. My focus is on our players, this team, us getting better, and us playing good, winning football here. I'm not interested in any other circumstances or situations anyplace else. Mike Shula is a good guy. He's a friend. I hate to see anybody not being able to maintain. I think he's done a good job there and should have been given an opportunity to stay there."

The Huntsville Times said sources have indicated it wouldn't be easy to lure Saban away from the Dolphins to Alabama. Saban is about to complete the second year of a five-year, $22.5 million contract he signed in December 2004 to leave Louisiana State University.

Asked last Monday whether he gets annoyed or flattered when his name comes up for open coaching positions, Saban said, "It's always flattering to be considered for anything. I have a lot of respect for a lot of these things, but this has been the case for years. When I was in college, it was always about coming to the pros. This is the challenge that I wanted.

"I had a good college job, so why would I have left that if I would be interested in another college job? I took this as a challenge. We certainly haven't seen this through and gotten where we want to go and finish the job here, so why I would I be interested in something else?"

The Huntsville Times reported that Rodriguez was contacted by consultant Chuck Neinas, who is helping both Alabama and UM in their coaching searches. The newspaper wasn't certain whether Neinas contacted Rodriguez to gauge interest in coaching the Crimson Tide or Hurricanes.