Fedora can afford to be picky
Guaranteed deals offer OSU assistants a reason to stay

By Mike Baldwin Published: December 10, 2007
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A plane was scheduled to leave Norman Sunday morning and land in Hattiesburg which confirmed reports Southern Mississippi planned to interview Oklahoma offensive coordinator Kevin Wilson. Due to inclement weather, Wilson was grounded.

So what's the deal with OSU offensive coordinator Larry Fedora? Is he the leading candidate or not?

Sources in Mississippi still maintain Fedora will be named head coach at a press conference Tuesday or Wednesday. One source said Fedora's wife, Christi, looked at houses in the area and his son, Dillon, talked with a high school football coach.

But Southern Miss athletic director Richard Giannini emphatically has said it's not a done deal. Apparently, he planned to interview Wilson. There's also a report Giannini might interview another offensive coordinator from a BCS school.

Fedora obviously hasn't signed on the dotted line. He's back in Stillwater. No one saw him packing boxes.

The primary reason he hasn't been named head coach revolves around assurances his assistant coaches will receive higher-than-normal salaries for a Conference USA school.

Fedora is bargaining from a position of strength. One of the highest paid offensive coordinators in the country, Fedora earns $393,000. Last year he was given a five-year contract. Guaranteed.

That's why Fedora could turn down Rice's head coaching job last year and an opportunity to be Alabama's offensive coordinator. It's also why he might be playing college football's version of Texas Hold 'Em with Southern Miss officials.

USM assistants made a combined $800,000 this season. The offensive and defensive coordinators were paid $130,000.

If Fedora can convince USM officials to commit $1.2 million a year to his staff, Fedora could pay coordinators around $230,000 each and his other six assistants close to $130,000.

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Oklahoma State offensive coordinator Larry Fedora might be leaving for Southern Mississippi, if the school will agree to pay his assistants higher-than-normal salaries. By MATT STRASEN, THE OKLAHOMAN archive

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