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Inside College Football | USC REPORT

Chow to Get an Interview

November 20, 2003|Gary Klein | Times Staff Writer

USC offensive coordinator Norm Chow said Wednesday that he would meet with Arizona Athletic Director Jim Livengood after USC plays UCLA on Saturday to discuss the job opening in Tucson.

Livengood fired John Mackovic on Sept. 28 and named Mike Hankwitz interim coach. Livengood contacted Chow last week and, after USC defeated the Wildcats, 45-0, requested a meeting to discuss the job.

"I'm going to talk to him about it," Chow said. "No one's offered anything. This is just, I'm sure, for them to figure out what they want to do."

Arizona would like a coach in place by Dec. 1 to jump-start recruiting.

Oklahoma co-defensive coordinator Mike Stoops, 41, is regarded as the front-runner to land the job and has said that he would leave the Sooner program immediately if he was hired as a head coach.

Oklahoma City radio station WWLS reported Wednesday night that Stoops had accepted the job and will be released from his duties with the Sooners next week. But Livengood denied that a deal had been struck and that the search process is proceeding as scheduled.

"We have a number of people that we're going to be visiting and in due time all of that will come out," Livengood said.

Oklahoma Coach Bob Stoops told newspapers in Oklahoma that a plan was already in place for another coach to make defensive calls and that Mike, Bob Stoops' younger brother, still could help with bowl-game preparations.

Second-ranked USC's last regular-season game is Dec. 6 against Oregon State. The Trojans, third in the bowl championship series standings, are in the hunt for a berth in the Sugar Bowl, where they could play No. 1 Oklahoma.

Chow, 57, turned down an offer to become coach at Kentucky last December. He said he would not take a job if it required him to leave USC before a bowl game.

"How often do you get a chance to coach in the Rose Bowl or a championship game?" Chow said.

Other candidates besides Chow and Stoops are Cincinnati Bengal linebackers coach Ricky Hunley and New York Giant defensive coordinator Johnnie Lynn.

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Freshman quarterback John David Booty said he got a treat by having his older brother, Josh, watch him practice at USC for the first time. Josh Booty, 28, began his third NFL season as the Cleveland Browns' third quarterback but was waived Sept. 18.... Linebacker Melvin Simmons (bruised fibula) practiced for the first time this week and said he intended to play against UCLA.... Fullback Brandon Hancock will not play Saturday because of a sprained left knee.

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Times wire services contributed to this report.

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