On radio, Tuberville says 'I'm not looking to go anywhere'
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. -- Darren McFadden is taking all the rumors in stride -- even the latest buzz about Tommy Tuberville.
"I try not to pay any attention," said McFadden, Arkansas' star running back. "A lot of nonsense out there."
Television stations in Arkansas have to varying degrees linked Tuberville to the Razorbacks' coaching vacancy. Tuberville, who coaches Auburn, said on the radio this week he was not trying to leave the Tigers.
"I'm not looking to go anywhere," Tuberville said on his weekly radio show, which aired Thursday night but was recorded previously.
As of early Friday, Arkansas had not contacted Auburn seeking permission to speak with Tuberville, Auburn sports publicist Kirk Sampson said.
Houston Nutt resigned as Arkansas coach Monday and took the Ole Miss job. Tuberville, who is from Camden, was a candidate for the Arkansas job when Nutt was hired in December 1997.
"I know whoever they bring in here is going to be a great coach," McFadden said. "However they decide to pick it is how it's going to be picked."
McFadden, a Heisman Trophy candidate, rushed for only 43 yards in a 9-7 loss to Tuberville and Auburn in October.
"They had a great defense," McFadden said. "They had great defensive linemen. They moved like linebackers. It was hard running against that defense."
McFadden might not be around to play for the new coach. He's a junior and can turn pro after the season.
Some reports have mentioned Oakland Raiders coach Lane Kiffin as a possible candidate to replace Nutt. Kiffin said this week that was news to him. The only person to declare interest in the job publicly has been Razorbacks defensive coordinator Reggie Herring, who was named interim coach after Nutt's departure.
Tuberville has been in talks with Auburn about a contract extension. Athletic director Jay Jacobs said Auburn has agreed to lengthen the coach's contract, but declined to discuss details.
On the radio show, Tuberville said some changes are needed at Auburn, which he said needs a plan to improve its facilities.
"I've been here nine years and think I'm pretty experienced in what I feel and our staff feels needs to happen for us to go to another level, get back to Atlanta [to the Southeastern Conference title game] and win in Atlanta," he said.
But, Tuberville added: "People don't need to panic or anything."
"This is for the betterment of Auburn. Obviously, I always look out for my family, which is our coaches and our families. I want to make sure everybody is happy and healthy, but also has a chance to have success. We've had great success in nine years. We want the success to improve in the next nine years. I think everybody wants that."
As Arkansas fans wait for a coach, they might want to root for LSU against Tennessee in the SEC title game Saturday. The Razorbacks are hoping to go to the Cotton Bowl, and they feel their chances are better if LSU wins.
McFadden was bothered by ankle and shoulder problems late last season, when he was held under 100 yards rushing in both the SEC championship game and Capital One Bowl. McFadden says he's feeling good now and is looking forward to finishing this season strong.
"This time last year, my ankle was pretty beat up," McFadden said.
Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press