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Paper says Majerus is a goner

Rumors that Utah coach Rick Majerus will take the Arizona State coaching job have been floating around ever since September when Bill Frieder resigned.

A report in a Phoenix newspaper this week got some attention by calling a Majerus-to-Arizona State scenario a "done deal." That report, which was repeated on a Salt Lake TV sportscast Thursday night, doesn't seem any more solid than the rumors that have been wafting about.Majerus denied there's any deal already arranged with Arizona State and said he's looking ahead to next year at Utah.

"No, there's no deal," said Majerus. "I know this, we're fixing to sign a couple of more players in the spring. When I talk to them, I say `I'm calling you as the coach of Utah.' "

Majerus said, as always, he will listen to any offer and that some of his best offers have never been reported in the news. He laughed that he heard his name come up in connection with the Detroit Pistons' job that opened up last week.

Utah athletic director Chris Hill said he has given Majerus permission to talk to Arizona State or anybody else, but he doubts there's anything going on during the season.

"Their A.D. (Kevin White) has not called me and he would before he talked to (Majerus)," said Hill. "He's the type of guy who would wait until the season is over."

The story about Majerus was the second item in a gossip column in a weekly newspaper called the Phoenix New Times under a headline "ASU Won't Spare Us Majerus."

It quoted "sources in positions to know" saying that Majerus' "lucrative sneaker-endorsement contract has been revised, allowing him to bring that income with him to ASU."

The column actually promoted the idea of ASU keeping interim coach Don Newman. It concluded by saying, "Under almost any scenario, Majerus would be a great catch for ASU. The corpulent hoop guru is a beloved media figure and would no doubt put the ASU program on the right track. But in a just world, Newman would get the job."

Recent reports in the Arizona Daily Republic say that nine coaches are being considered for the ASU job with Majerus at the top of the list along with Oklahoma's Kelvin Sampson. White told the Republic that he won't interview candidates until season's end.