Bowden and Officials Close to Contract Agreement

by - Correspondent -

CLEMSON - The buzz around the Clemson athletic department continues to be
that Tommy Bowden's contract extension could come any day. That day just
wasn't Tuesday.

As he has been from the very beginning, Bowden was guarded in his comments
on the subject during his weekly press conference Tuesday afternoon.

"I think it's close," he said. "You can check with the administration and
they might be able to give you some more details. I think it would be any
time now, but they can probably be a lot more specific.

"I'm in meetings, and we're in there watching South Carolina film...they
(administration) do more of the dot the I's and cross the T's type stuff.
They can probably give you a better indication."

Bowden and the university have been negotiating a new contract over the last
few weeks, most likely in response to his being mentioned as a leading
candidate for the Alabama job. The Crimson Tide coaching position became
available last week when it was announced Mike DuBose would not return for
the 2001 season.

Athletic Director Bobby Robinson and Clemson University President James
Barker were not available for comment Tuesday.

Bowden's current contract has four years remaining, paying him at least
$825,000 per season. Sources close to the situation say Bowden's new deal
could be eight years or more in length and pay him up to $1.5 million per

"Had there not been all the speculation (about Alabama) this wouldn't even
be a topic," he said. "But it is, so there's nothing you can do about it.
It's not like it's taking time away from me. The players are gone (on fall
break)...I haven't had one player say anything to a coach or myself about
it, so it's not detracting any of my time watching South Carolina film.
"We're not studying legal documents or reading lawbooks back there. We're
actually watching tape."

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