LSU AD: 'We're just days away'

Updated: February 5, 2004, 11:46 AM ET news services

BATON ROUGE, La. -- Contract negotiations with LSU football coach Nick Saban are in the final stages, athletic director Skip Bertman said.

"We're closing in on a long-term contract. It's not signed yet, but we're just days away," Bertman said Wednesday.

Bertman said that basic terms of the contract have been approved by Jimmy Sexton, Saban's agent, and the package will make Saban the highest-paid collegiate coach in the country.

In his current contract, Saban was guaranteed such a pay raise for a national title. LSU beat Oklahoma last month in the Sugar Bowl to claim the BCS championship, the Tigers' first national title since 1958.

"It's got some other great things in it for him," Bertman said. "Just give me a little more time.''

Saban was a hot commodity after leading the Tigers to the national title, but he announced in January that he would be staying put after meeting with the NFL's Chicago Bears.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.