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FSU’s Jimbo Fisher stays mum on rumors of leaving, says he will coach Seminoles on Saturday

By Matt Baker
Michigan State's Nick Ward (44) shoots against Notre Dame's Martinas Geben (23) and Bonzie Colson (35) as Michigan State's Jaren Jackson Jr. (2) watches during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game, Thursday, Nov. 30, 2017, in East Lansing, Mich. (AP Photo/Al Goldis) ELJ101

Jimbo Fisher’s uncertain future continues to hang over Florida State and Texas A&M.

The Seminoles coach again refused to address rumors that he could leave Tallahassee to replace Kevin Sumlin as the Aggies’ next coach. He said Thursday that he won’t make a decision about his future until after Saturday’s regular-season finale against Louisiana-Monroe — a game Fisher said he still intends to coach.

But Fisher’s indecision has upset key figures in and around the Seminoles program. Pressure is mounting for the 52-year-old coach to decide whether he wants to stay or leave FSU, which has begun vetting possible replacements, including former USF coach Willie Taggart, who is in his first season at Oregon.

Despite the pushback, Fisher said he has no regrets about how he has handled the past week.

"We’re trying to finish the season," he said. "Win the game and get to a bowl game."

Texas A&M’s board of regents met for more than 2½ hours Thursday to discuss issues related to its next coach but adjourned without a vote. Chancellor John Sharp told reporters that it could announce another meeting notice in the next day or two — and that meeting would likely confirm or reject a coach.

"We’ve got the best facilities in the SEC," Sharp said. "We’ve got the best stadium. And we intend to have the best coach."

Gators hire DC: New Florida coach Dan Mullen hired Todd Grantham as defensive coordinator, bringing a third assistant with him from Mississippi State. Grantham, 51, a Broyles Award nominee as the nation’s top assistant, has 31 years of coaching experience, including 11 as defensive coordinator. He served in that role at MSU (2017), Louisville (2014-16), Georgia (2010-13) and with the NFL’s Browns (2005-07).

VOLS LOSE ANOTHER: North Carolina State announced that it has agreed to a new contract with coach Dave Doeren, the reported five-year deal coming after Doeren talked with Tennessee officials about their coaching vacancy. Financial terms of the deal at N.C. State weren’t immediately available, and it is unclear if Doeren was formally offered the Tennessee job.

Doeren’s decision to stay in Raleigh continues Tennessee’s frustrating search for a coach after the Nov. 12 firing of Butch Jones. Volunteers fans unhappy with how new athletic director John Currie has conducted the coaching search chanted "Fire Currie" on a handful of occasions Wednesday during the basketball team’s win over Mercer.

A potential agreement between UT and current Ohio State defensive coordinator and former Bucs and Rutgers coach Greg Schiano fell apart Sunday amid a public backlash. Reports over the past few days have linked Oklahoma State’s Mike Gundy and Purdue’s Jeff Brohm to Tennessee’s vacancy, but like Doeren, they have stayed put.

ESPN reported that Kevin Sumlin, fired last weekend by Texas A&M, is up next for the Vols.

USF BASKETBALL FALLS: Dimitri Thompson scored 23, including the go-ahead basket in overtime, and Elon beat visiting USF 79-78. After six lead changes in OT, Thompson’s jumper with 1:01 left gave Elon (5-3) its final edge. Terrence Samuel missed a layup for the Bulls, but they forced a shot-clock violation and got the ball with nine seconds left. USF’s Stephan Jiggetts missed a jumper in the final second. Payton Banks scored 23, including a 3 in OT for a 73-72 lead for the Bulls (4-4).

MORE BASKETBALL: Joshua Langford scored 12 of his 17 in the first half to help No. 3 Michigan State take a 20-point halftime lead against No. 5 Notre Dame en route to an 81-63 win in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge. The visiting Irish (6-1) cut the lead to seven with 13:09 left before the Spartans (6-1), who have won five straight since losing to No. 1 Duke, closed it out. In College Station, Texas, junior guards D.J. Hogg and Admon Gilder scored 17 each and N. 9 Texas A&M (7-0) opened the game on a 16-0 run en route to a 78-60 win over Texas-Rio Grande Valley. … For the women, Lexie Brown and Rebecca Greenwell scored 19 each to help No. 14 Duke (6-1) win at home over No. 8 Ohio State (7-2) 69-60. In Columbia, S.C., A’ja Wilson scored 29 as No. 5 South Carolina (7-1) bounced back from its first loss of the season with a 101-43 pummeling of Western Carolina.

PITINO SUES: Rick Pitino is suing the Louisville Athletic Association for $38.7 million, saying it breached his contract by placing him on unpaid administrative leave without notice and firing him last month with no legally justified "cause." The ULAA fired coach Oct. 16, weeks after he was placed on leave when Louisville acknowledged it was being investigated in a federal bribery probe of college basketball. Pitino is not named in the federal complaint and has denied participation in and knowledge of alleged payments to a recruit’s family. A UL spokesman said the school is aware of Pitino’s suit but won’t comment on pending litigation.

Information from Times wires was used in this report.