AUSTIN, Texas -- A few days after Alabama won the 2013 national championship, a University of Texas regent and a former regent talked with Nick Saban's agent about the possibility of the Crimson Tide coach replacing Longhorns coach Mack Brown, The Associated Press has learned.
Regent Wallace Hall of Dallas told the AP he spoke by telephone with agent Jimmy Sexton a few days after the Jan. 7 game. Tom Hicks, a former regent who is the brother of current Regent Steve Hicks, also was on the call.
Tom Hicks, the former owner of the Texas Rangers, the Dallas Stars and the English professional soccer club Liverpool, was a regent in 1997 when Brown came to Texas and was instrumental in hiring him away from North Carolina.
Two days after the call with Sexton, Tom Hicks met with Brown over lunch and told him about the call, according to several people who spoke with the AP. He asked Brown if he was ready to retire.
Brown, who had just finished his 15th season at Texas, said he wanted to keep coaching and the matter was dropped.
On his weekly radio show Thursday night, Saban said he didn't know anything about the meeting and said he's too old to start over someplace else. He also joked about Sexton talking to another school.
"That's what they're supposed to do. That's why I hired the guy. That's why I pay him," Saban said.
Clemson wins: Tajh Boyd threw for 244 yards and three touchdowns to help No. 3 Clemson beat North Carolina State 26-14 on Thursday night.
Boyd's second scoring pass, a 30-yarder to Martavis Bryant, capped a critical third-quarter sequence that allowed the Tigers (3-0, 1-0 Atlantic Coast Conference) to seize momentum in front of a hostile crowd.
Clemson pulled away from there. Boyd found Bryant for another touchdown, with Bryant snatching the ball from defender Niles Clark for a 15-yard score that helped the Tigers blow the game open early in the fourth.
Believes will succeed: A lawyer who filed the first concussion lawsuit against the NFL believes the proposed $765 million settlement will go through, and lead to payments to injured players within 18 months.
The deal could be nixed if too many ex-players opt out to sue individually.
But Philadelphia lawyer Sol Weiss, speaking at Villanova Law School on Thursday, says they would face an uphill battle in court. He thinks most will accept the deal.
Bush uncertain: Detroit running back Reggie Bush hopes to practice today, though his status for the Lions' game at Washington this weekend is still uncertain.
Bush has a banged-up left knee, and the team said he did not practice Thursday.
Martinez out: Nebraska coach Bo Pelini says Taylor Martinez is doubtful for Saturday's game against South Dakota State and that redshirt freshman Tommy Armstrong Jr. is the probable starter.
Martinez has missed all week of practice because of a turf toe injury on his left foot.
Stenson leads: Henrik Stenson looked like he couldn't miss in the first round of the Tour Championship.
Stenson ran off five birdies over a six-hole stretch on the front nine at East Lake. His last birdie, a 5-iron from 223 yards to 4 feet on the par-3 18th hole, gave him a 6-under 64 and a one-shot lead over Masters champion Adam Scott.
• Auto Racing
End sponsorship: NAPA Auto Parts said Thursday it will end its multimillion-dollar sponsorship of Michael Waltrip Racing at the end of the year, the latest fallout from the team's attempt to manipulate a race to get Martin Truex Jr. into NASCAR's version of the playoffs.
Napa is Truex's primary sponsor and in the first year of a three-year extension announced last August. The deal ran through the 2015 season and is believed to be worth at least $15 million a year.