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Press Box: Texas' Brown expected out by week's end

The SportsXchange

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Texas coach Mack Brown is expected to announce by the end of the week that he is stepping down after 16 years at the school, Orangebloods.com reported.

Meanwhile, one of the names prominently mentioned as a possible replacement, Alabama coach Nick Saban, has not responded to a new contract extension offer from the Crimson Tide, which is causing some uneasiness among school administrators, ESPN reported Wednesday.

A reporter from the Fort Worth Telegram posted Tuesday night on Twitter that Saban would take the Texas job.

"Source close to Texas executive council of regents says Nick Saban will be next Longhorns coach," tweeted Stefan Stevenson, the TCU beat reporter for the Telegram.

Brown disputed the story that he was leaving when reached by text from Horns247.com.

"I haven't seen (the) article," Brown wrote via text. "I'm in Florida recruiting. If I had decided to step down I sure wouldn't be killing myself down here. I have not decided to step down."

Reports surfaced earlier in the season that Texas might be targeting Saban after it was discovered that a current and former Texas regent discussed the Texas position with Saban's agent, Jimmy Sexton, after last season's BCS championship game. Saban denied he was interested in the job.

NFL Network reported Tuesday that Alabama and Saban were engaged in negotations on a contract extension that would bump the annual salary of a new deal to the $7 million per season range.

In March, Saban received a contract extension from Alabama worth $5.62 million a year but then was offered another extension after the Crimson Tide finished the regular season with an 11-1 record. His current deal at Alabama runs through Jan. 21, 2020.

Alabama athletic director Bill Battle said it's business as usual for the Crimson Tide program. He didn't respond to questions about Saban's status while attending a IMG Intercollegiate Athletics Forum in New York on Wednesday.

"We're focused on recruiting and playing Oklahoma in the Sugar Bowl," Battle said.

According to Orangebloods.com, Brown wants to do what's in the best interest of the school. An official comfirmation of his resignation could come at the team's football banquet on Friday night.

--Boise State brought back one of its former players as the new head coach on Wednesday.

The school announced that it hired Bryan Harsin away from Arkansas State after one season. Harsin returns to Boise, where he was an assistant coach from 2002 to 2010 and a former backup quarterback for the Broncos from 1995 to 1999.

The 37-year-old Harsin will replace Chris Peterson, who left Boise last Friday to accept the head coaching job at Washington after Steve Sarkisian departed for USC.

--Adam Scheier was named Bowling Green's interim head football coach.

He's in his fifth season with the Falcons as special teams coordinator and tight ends coach. Scheier takes over for Dave Clawson, who has accepted the head coaching position at Wake Forest.

Scheier will coach the Falcons in the Little Caesars Pizza Bowl on Dec. 26 against Pittsburgh.

--Washington junior Austin Seferian-Jenkins was named Wednesday the 2013 winner of the John Mackey Award that goes annually to the outstanding tight end in college football.

The other finalists were Nick O'Leary of Florida State and Eric Ebron of North Carolina.

The 6-foot-6, 276-pound Seferian-Jenkins caught 33 passes for 413 yards and seven touchdowns this season for Washington (8-4), which has one game remaining in the Fight Hunger Bowl.

NBA

The Charlotte Bobcats signed free-agent guard-forward Chris Douglas-Roberts and waived forward James Southerland, the team announced Wednesday.

Douglas-Roberts was playing with the Texas Legends in the NBA D-League. He is the fifth D-League call-up by the team this season.

NHL

Ottawa Senators defenseman Jared Cowen was suspended two games without pay by the NHL for an illegal check to the head of Buffalo Sabres forward Zemgus Girgensons during Tuesday night's game.

Cowen was not called for a penalty on the play, which occurred at 18:03 of the third period when Cowen clipped Girgensons' head with a shoulder. Girgensons remained in the game, which the Sabres won 2-1 in a shootout.

Cowen will lose $31.794.88 based on his average annual salary as a result of the suspension.

AUTO

It's official. The iconic No. 3 car is coming back to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series.

The much-anticipated and long-awaited announcement was made Wednesday at Charlotte Motor Speedway, where car owner Richard Childress introduced his grandson, Austin Dillon, as driver of the No. 3 Chevrolet.

They unveiled two versions of the No. 3 race car that Dillon will pilot in 2014 for Richard Childress Racing.

The No. 3 last ran in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series when Dale Earnhardt drove it in the 2001 Daytona 500. The NASCAR Hall of Famer died in as a result of injuries sustained in an accident on the last lap of the race.

Childress said only a short time before that tragedy he had a conversation with Earnhardt, who told him then that he hoped someone would one day carry on the tradition of driving the No. 3 when he no longer could.

Earnhardt won seven NASCAR Sprint Cup championships (six of them in the No. 3 car), tied for most in NASCAR history with Richard Petty, before his death.
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