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Tuesday, November 18, 2003 - Page updated at 12:00 AM

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WSU Football

Mike Price timeline

Dec. 10: Three days after Washington State beats UCLA to clinch a berth in the Rose Bowl, Price is asked about rumors connecting him to other schools, including Alabama and UCLA. "If someone called me, I would take the phone call," Price says.

Dec. 14: Price tells Cougars players at practice that he isn't going to UCLA — drawing a hearty round of applause — but makes no mention of Alabama.

Dec. 18: Price is announced as head coach at Alabama, agreeing to — but never signing — a seven-year, $10 million contract. "It's the premier job in the world," Price says. "Alabama football means more to me than you'll ever know ... To walk on the sidelines that (Bear Bryant) walked is a huge honor."

Jan. 1, 2003: Cougars lose to Oklahoma in the Rose Bowl 34-14 in Price's last game as Washington State's coach. "It kind of hits me every now and then what's happened," Price says in an emotional news conference after the game. Price leaves with an 83-77 record in 14 years at WSU.

March 29: Alabama concludes its first spring practice under Price with the Crimson beating the White 47-0 in the annual A Day scrimmage in front of 34,000 at Bryant-Denny Stadium.

April 16-17: Price plays in a pro-am for the Emerald Coast Classic senior professional golf tournament in Pensacola, Fla. While there, he reportedly spends $200 at a strip club and wakes up the next morning with an unknown woman in his hotel room. The woman charges $1,000 in room service on Price's room account.

May 3: Price is fired as the 25th football coach in Alabama history, the final decision made by school president Robert E. Witt, who acknowledges in the news conference that Price had been warned several weeks earlier about his "public conduct." "I apologize to my wife, my team and my coaches," Price says. "I will learn from this."

June 20: Price sues Sports Illustrated writer Don Yaeger and the magazine's parent company, Time, Inc., asking for $20 million. Sports Illustrated had published a story in May that claimed Price had "aggressive sex" with two women in his Pensacola hotel room. Price denied that, and several other allegations made in the story.

July 14: Price sues the University of Alabama for wrongful termination, seeking $20 million.

Aug. 30: Price watches anonymously from the stands as the Cougars open the season with a win over Idaho at Seahawks Stadium.

Sept. 20: Watches the Cougars beat New Mexico at Martin Stadium in Pullman, then visits with WSU players in the locker room after the game, at the invitation of coach Bill Doba.

Sept. 29: University of Arizona president Peter Likins tells the Arizona Daily Star newspaper that the school will not consider hiring Price as its head coach, after John Mackovic was fired.

Oct. 23: A federal judge in Birmingham, Ala., dismisses Price's wrongful termination suit against Alabama. A key factor was that Price hadn't actually signed his seven-year, $10 million contract with Alabama.

Copyright © 2003 The Seattle Times Company

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