CLEMSON - Despite his pleadings to the contrary, Tommy Bowden's name continues to be linked to the Alabama coaching vacancy across the vast wasteland called the Internet.
But Thursday, after a different media source apparently tied Bowden to the job, Clemson's head coach found himself again denying any interest in leaving Tiger Town for Tuscaloosa. Or any other destination.
"I'd think that would be a dead issue myself," Bowden said after Thursday morning's bowl practice, when informed the Birmingham News reported he had been contacted by Alabama's consulting firm.
Has he talked to anyone from Alabama?
"No. No, no, no, no."
Has there been any contact from Alabama?
"If you've notice how those things have carried out with (current Miami Dolphins head coach Nick) Saban and his lawyer, and Rich (Rodriguez's) lawyer, how they've been quoted. Have you seen mine quoted?," he said.
"No. Not my (contract) guy. Not me. There's been no contact, indirectly or directly."
Does he have an interest in the Alabama job?
"No. I plan on staying here. I plan on staying here," he said. "This is where I'd like to be. But if (I) don't win, they don't ask me back."
In other practice notes from Thursday:
- C.J. Spiller practiced despite his sprained ankle and looked reasonably well, Bowden said.
"He's getting closer to 100 percent," Bowden said. "He was in full gear and went the whole practice today."
- Thomas Hunter's injury will leave a void of sorts at tight end, though Bowden is confident the offense can overcome his absence.
"It will affect our performance some because he's the best guy," Bowden said. "But unless we lose another one, it won't affect us as far as formations."
- Clemson soccer player Mark Buchholz is in camp this week getting some work at kicker, just to see if he can help the team next year. Buchholz has worked on kicking each of the last two summers.
"We want to get a look at him and see,"Bowden said. "I lose both my kickers next year, and we have Richard Jackson coming back. So I want to see if we can use Buchholz or if I'm going to have to sign another kicker.
"If I use him, then he has to go off his (partial) soccer scholarship and onto a full one with us. So I need to see if he can help us."
Buccholz would play both sports if he makes the football team.
- Wide receiver Rendrick Taylor practiced "more than he ever has" since suffering his broken arm, Bowden said. He was still in a green jersey (limited contact) but could be ready for the bowl game.
- Offensive lineman Tim DeBeer continues to miss time with a stomach ailment. His weight loss due to the sickness will keep him on the sidelines for the Music City Bowl.