BY DAVID UBBEN, Staff Writer, dubben@opubco.com Modified: December 1, 2009 at 4:41 pm •  Published: December 1, 2009

NORMAN — Oklahoma football coach Bob Stoops says he is passing up a possible opportunity to rebuild the Notre Dame program.

"I’m going to be at Oklahoma next year,” Stoops said Monday. "If (athletic director) Joe (Castiglione) will have me and president (David) Boren, that’s what I intend to do.”

On Monday, Notre Dame fired coach Charlie Weis, who had six years remaining on his contract. The Irish were just 16-21 the past three seasons under Weis, who led the storied program to BCS bowls in his first two seasons.

On Tuesday, Stoops again denied any contact with Notre Dame, telling the Tulsa World's Dave Sittler that an ESPN report was incorrect.

After saying Monday night that Stoops would be Notre Dame's next coach, ESPN's Adam Schefter reported Tuesday that Stoops wouldn't take the job because negotiations had broken down.

“I don’t know where (Schefter) is getting his information, but it’s wrong,” Stoops told the Tulsa World in a telephone interview. “It’s all been wrong.

“He’s trying to cover his (Monday) mistake. There were never any talks that broke down, because there were never ever any negotiations or details or plans for a meeting.”

Weis’ firing at Notre Dame was a mere formality and speculation that Stoops would leave Norman for South Bend, Ind., has persisted since an initial report in the Chicago Tribune two weeks ago.

Other reports surfaced over the weekend that Stoops had already interviewed with Notre Dame officials. Monday, speaking with reporters in South Bend, Notre Dame athletic director Jack Swarbrick called those reports inaccurate.

"We haven’t contacted anybody at this moment,” he said.

Sunday morning, IrishEyes.com, the Notre Dame affiliate of the Scout.com recruiting Web site, reported that five independent sources confirmed that Stoops and Notre Dame had reached an oral agreement, and that Stoops would be introduced as coach after receiving word that his "financial demands” would be met.

He can’t control what colleagues such as Alabama’s Nick Saban, Arkansas’ Bobby Petrino and LSU’s Les Miles have done in the past, issuing denials of interest before taking jobs elsewhere.



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