Unsure Saban weighs offer to coach Dolphins


DAVIE, Fla. - Choosing between being coach of the Miami Dolphins or remaining at LSU isn't easy for Nick Saban.

After receiving an offer from the Dolphins, Saban spent all day yesterday considering his next career step in what may not be as cut-and-dried a decision as some believed.

Although the Dolphins were willing to give him the lucrative contract and personnel control he sought, Saban is giving serious thought to remaining at the college he led to a share of the 2003 national championship.

"This is the first chance he's had to sit down with his agent and wife and really weigh the situation without interruptions or the pressure of other things," LSU athletic director Skip Bertman told the Associated Press. "I have no reason to think he's going to hurry things unnecessarily. We have no timetable.

"We said all along it's not about money. Nick does not want to renegotiate his contract. ... The question is does he stay here and continue to build or does he take on a new challenge?"

Dolphins owner Wayne Huizenga issued a statement yesterday confirming the offer to Saban, which was widely reported the previous day. Huizenga's decision came after impressive interviews from ex-Oakland Raiders coach Art Shell and interim coach Jim Bates, who has received support from players to keep the position permanently.

Bates, who interviewed for the position Tuesday after a 29-28 upset victory over the New England Patriots, wouldn't comment on being passed over for the offer.

"When I started, the main focus was to prepare this team, improve this team and give this team a positive outlook as far as with a tough year and everything that has taken place," said Bates, who has a 2-3 record since replacing Dave Wannstedt. "That is still my objective."

The South Florida Sun-Sentinel is a Tribune Publishing newspaper.

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