Auburn coach Tommy Tuberville's job was not in jeopardy when he decided to step down and he declined several requests from his bosses to reconsider, athletic director Jay Jacobs said Thursday.
Jacobs said Tuberville's departure Wednesday after 10 seasons was "completely his decision" and the coach would be leading the Tigers next season if he had not chosen to leave.
"To say the least, I was a little shocked," the AD said. "But after three times of asking him would he change his mind, he convinced me that the best thing for him and his family and for this football program was for him to possibly take a year off and take a step back."
Tuberville did not return a phone message.
Jacobs said he and the school president agreed to pay Tuberville the buyout of $5.1-million - though it was not required because he wasn't fired - because they believed it was "the right thing to do."
Jacobs said he also offered Tuberville a chance to leave for another job without having to pay a buyout but that the coach said there was no other job.
"He said he wants to be here for about a year," Jacobs said.
Auburn has had at least five of 26 recruits withdraw their oral commitments since Tuberville stepped down.
Cornerback Jerraud Powers said he and his teammates were surprised by Tuberville's departure.
"We weren't expecting this day to happen," he said. "Nobody looked forward to this day. And when he came in, he tried to talk. He tried to, but the emotional side of it took heart of it. We all got together and prayed one last time, and that was it."
Clemson: Backup quarterback Willy Korn had surgery to repair cartilage on his right (throwing) shoulder. The freshman is 26-of-38 for 216 yards, a touchdown and an interception in six games. His status for the Gator Bowl on Jan. 1 has not been determined.
Tennessee: Safety Demetrice Morley was arrested on an outstanding warrant stemming from a robbery charge. Morley, who had two interceptions in 10 starts, failed to appear for a hearing on Sept. 4 related to an incident at Florida International University on April 24, 2007. A new hearing was scheduled for Dec. 23.
Toledo: Oklahoma State defensive coordinator and Ohio native Tim Beckman was hired as coach. He replaced Tom Amstutz, who resigned.
UCF: Freshman running back Brandon Davis was hospitalized after collapsing during a weightlifting session. The school said only he became dehydrated and would remain hospitalized overnight for observation.
Utah St.: Gary Andersen, defensive coordinator for unbeaten Utah, was hired as coach. He replaces the fired Brent Guy at the WAC school that has not had a winning record since 1996.
Washington: Texas Tech coach Mike Leach and Fresno State coach Pat Hill dropped out of consideration for the coaching vacancy. The Associated Press reported Texas Tech is working on a contract extension for Leach, who reportedly met with Washington this week. The fired Tyrone Willingham coaches his last game Saturday.
New Mexico Bowl: Fresno State (7-5) accepted a bid and will face a Mountain West team.
Volleyball: Florida (25-3) hosts Florida A&M (14-12) at 7:30 tonight in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.