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COOPER GETS SUPPORT FROM AD, PRESIDENT

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Ohio State athletic director Jim Jones said Friday that he and the university president have given their "strong support" to John Cooper as head football coach.

There have been reports all season about whether Cooper was secure in his job. University president Gordon Gee has said that he would evaluate the program at the end of the season before deciding on Cooper's future.A written statement that Jones released late Friday did not say that Cooper definitely would return next year, but he congratulated "the players, coaches and staff on the progress of the football program during the 1992 season."

"And we wish them success in the Citrus Bowl on Jan. 1 and in the seasons ahead," Jones said.

Ohio State is 8-2-1, the Buckeyes' best record in Cooper's five years at Ohio State.