AUSTIN, Texas —
Brown, who is under contract until 2020 and will be paid $5.4 million this year, won the 2005 national title and lost to Saban’s Alabama team in the 2010 championship game. The Longhorns are 23-18 since that defeat and Brown is under fire from fans upset about a 1-2 start this year after consecutive lopsided losses to BYU and Mississippi.
Brown has said he plans to coach through his contract. But three sub-par seasons and two consecutive losses this season have led to speculation about Brown’s future, and Saban is often mentioned as a potential replacement.
Saban has won four national championships, one with LSU in 2003 and three with Alabama after the 2009, 2011 and 2012 seasons. Saban earns $5.6 million per year, but Texas — the nation’s wealthiest athletic program — could certainly afford him.
Whether Sexton initiated the contact with Texas is unclear. He did not return a telephone message from the AP on Thursday. Alabama spokesman Jeff Purinton also declined comment.
Hall said a person he would not identify called him, unsolicited, and proposed an introduction to Sexton.
“I notified then-chairman Gene Powell, who then informed vice chairman and athletic liaison Steve Hicks, which resulted in a conference call with Mr. Sexton,” Hall said in a prepared statement to the AP. “Introductions were made and then I withdrew from the process.”
Tom Hicks declined comment on the call and the meeting with Brown. Steve Hicks told the AP he was in Australia the second week in January and said he never talked to Sexton, Brown or Saban, “or authorized anyone to do so.”