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saintz08 12-06-2002 09:40 AM


Tide might look at Saints' Riley


By Jeff Duncan
Staff writer/The Times-Picayune

Mike Riley, the Saints' assistant head coach and secondary coach, is expected to be on the short list of candidates to replace Dennis Franchione as the head coach at the University of Alabama, sources said Thursday.

Riley, who played for legendary Crimson Tide coach Paul "Bear" Bryant from 1971-74, was one of five coaches to interview for the Alabama head coaching job two years ago, when Franchione was hired.

Of those five, only Riley and Pittsburgh's Walt Harris are considered candidates for the vacant position this time, sources said.

Franchione agreed to a five-year contract with Texas A&M on Thursday, according to several published reports.

"I haven't talked to anyone (from Alabama)," Riley said after practice Thursday. "It's something I would have to consider, though."

Saints coach Jim Haslett said no one from Alabama has officially contacted him for permission to speak with Riley.

Riley is under contract through the end of the 2003 season, but Haslett said he would not stand in Riley's way if an opportunity comes along.

Before his pro career, Riley spent four seasons as an assistant at Southern California and two years as head coach at Oregon State.

Cannibalized again by the NCAA ??

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