Nickson watching UA

Published 12:00 am Thursday, May 1, 2003

The scandal plaguing the University of Alabama football coach Mike Price is of interest to at least one local football player.

Pike County senior quarterback Chris Nickson has been trying to sift through the rumors and innuendo like the rest of the state to follow the situation and find out the truth. Nickson is a heavily recruited quarterback who has already been offered a scholarship by Alabama.

"I'm trying to get into (the situation)," Nickson said. "I really don't know what's going on."

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Price is under investigation for his actions during a charity golf tournament in Pensacola, Fla. Several state newspapers reported Price attended a topless bar and that a young woman tried to charge $1,000 worth of food the next morning to his hotel room.

University of Alabama President Robert E. Witt announced Thursday he is nearing the completion of his review Price's behavior.

"This review involves careers and lives and it has been imperative that it be thorough," Witt said.

Witt is scheduled to meet with the Board of Trustees' Athletics Committee, other available Board of Trustee members, and the chancellor on Saturday to present and discuss his decision regarding Price's status as head football coach. Witt requested that every effort be made to schedule the meeting with Board members earlier, but schedules would not allow an earlier meeting date.

The Tuscaloosa News reported Thursday that of the options the university is considering, one is Price's dismissal.

Alabama made an official offer to Nickson March 17. Several other schools have expressed interest, and he has been contacted by Auburn, LSU and Southern Miss pretty heavily.

"Those are just the schools who have made good contact," Nickson said. "I've gotten letters from everywhere."

Nickson threw for more than 2,000 yards last season and finished as a finalist for the 3A player of the year despite being only a junior. He led the Bulldogs to the third round of the state playoffs.

He said he is interested in Alabama in large part because of the wide-open passing attack Price is known for. Price produced NFL quarterbacks Ryan Leaf and Drew Bledsoe during his days at Washington State.

"If they fire him, that will affect (my decision)," Nickson said. "I don't know how much it will affect it, because it's still Alabama. But it will affect it."

Nickson and the rest of the Bulldogs begin spring practice Monday.