Tuberville Could Be Out At Auburn With Tiger Officials Talking To Bobby Petrino Of Louisville

AUBURN, Ala. (AP) _  Auburn completed a disappointing 7-5 regular season with last
Saturday's 28-23 victory over Alabama. Speculation about Tuberville's job began after back-to-back losses to Mississippi and Georgia.

``Coach Petrino has been mentioned as a candidate for the job should it become available,'' Walker said in a statement Tuesday night. ``I have made no decision and am considering my options.
This visit was a part of that process.''

However, a Louisvillle official said Tuesday that Petrino did not meet with Auburn officials.

``He stated to me he's not been contacted and wants to keep his focus on the field so he can end this season on a high note and look towards the bowl game and get his team ready to play
Cincinnati this week,'' football sports information director Rocco Gasparro said.

Petrino was Auburn's offensive coordinator last season, leaving to take the Louisville job.

Walker said he and athletics director David Housel flew to Louisville last Thursday night for a meeting with Petrino. They were accompanied by Earlon McWhorter, president pro tem of the
board of trustees, and trustee Byron Franklin, a former Auburn and NFL receiver.

Walker said the meeting was arranged by a search firm assisting in his decision-making process.

``I am continuing to evaluate the football program, my goals for that program and options that may be available to me and Auburn University,'' Walker said.

He and Housel have indicated they plan to meet with Tuberville early next week. The university would have to pay the coach $4 million under a five-year contract he signed in February.

Petrino signed a five-year deal with a base salary of $450,000, plus up to $250,000 in incentives. He has led the Cardinals to an 8-3 record entering their regular-season finale Friday at Cincinnati.

Petrino came to Auburn from the Jacksonville Jaguars, where he was the quarterbacks coach from 1999-2001.

(Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)