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Patton to stay as coach of Buffs

Coach Ricardo Patton, who interviewed at Tennessee and Memphis, reached agreement on a one-year contract that will pay him at least $325,000 to stay at Colorado.

Patton, athletic director Dick Tharp and interim chancellor Richard Byyny agreed to the deal, which is subject to approval by the school's board of regents.

Patton, named interim coach in January 1996 after Joe Harrington resigned, said he appreciated the school's commitment.

Colorado law prohibits multiyear contracts for state employees.

Patton, 38, led the Buffaloes to a 22-10 record, including 11-5 in the Big 12 this season, his first full one on the bench. Colorado also gained its first NCAA Tournament berth since 1969. It lost to North Carolina in the second round.

FLORIDA: Jason Williams, who left school a month ago because of academic difficulties, is returning to Gainesville with the hope he can resume class work and play for the Gators next season.

Williams is a 6-foot-1 point guard who sat out this season after following first-year coach Billy Donovan from Marshall. He was expected back in Gainesville on Tuesday night.

"He needs to see what he missed to find out if it's even possible for him to pass some credits (this spring)," said Jamie McCloskey, associate athletic director for compliance. "He needs to find out how many hours he could pass this spring, which would then indicate how many he needs to complete in the summer and fall to become eligible in January."

UT-CHATTANOOGA: Coach Mack McCarthy said he has not accepted an offer of more than double his salary package to stay at the school, contrary to reports.

"It's very generous," McCarthy said of the five-year contract. He declined further comment until his attorney reviews it.

McCarthy, who led the Mocs to the NCAA Tournament's round of 16 for the first time, is talking with Tennessee and Memphis about their coaching vacancies. His contract with UTC expires next year.

STANFORD: A few days after leading his team into the NCAA Tournament's final 16, coach Mike Montgomery agreed to a six-year contract extension through the 2002-03 season. Terms were not released.

TULSA: Coach Steve Robinson wanted the university to make a strong commitment to the program, so it gave him a seven-year contract extension. The deal goes through the 2003-04 season. Terms were not disclosed.

Robinson said he turned down a job offer from Memphis last week because he believed Tulsa was a "better fit." Tennessee also had spoken with him about its coaching job, he said.

TENNESSEE: Iowa State's Tim Floyd emerged as the latest reported target of the Volunteers' affections. Athletic director Doug Dickey secured permission from the Cyclones to talk to Floyd about the coaching job and was expected to interview him soon.

LSU: Lifelong Louisiana State fan John Brady choked back tears several times at the news conference to introduce him as the school's coach. "I know a great deal about LSU I know the magic of Tiger Stadium. I know the magic of the fans here," he said.

The gathering included a group from Crowley, La., where he was a high school coach.

MURRAY STATE: Coach Mark Gottfried agreed to a four-year contract extension that will keep him at the school until 2001.

_ Correspondent Greg Auman contributed to this report.