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Parcells turns down Bucs job once again

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TAMPA, Fla. — Bill Parcells rejected the Tampa Bay Buccaneers — again.

The two-time Super Bowl champion coach said Friday night that he will not return to the sideline with the Bucs or any other team.

"I just cannot make the commitment necessary to do the job. I just want to stay retired," Parcells told CNNSI.com from his home in New Jersey.

"I hope that convinces everybody that I'm not coming back. Because I'm not. This is it. I'm staying retired. The demands of the job and what it would take for me to succeed were just too much."

The Bucs did not have any immediate comment on the report. Jimmy Sexton, Parcells' agent, did not return a telephone message from the Associated Press.

It's the second time in 10 years that Parcells has spurned the Bucs, who also pursued him after the 1991 season only to be turned down at the last minute.

"I thought we had a deal," then-Bucs owner Hugh Culverhouse said at the time. "Now I feel as though we've been jilted at the altar."

The Bucs fired Tony Dungy, the most successful coach in the team's 26-year history, Monday night.

Despite indications that a tentative deal with Parcells might have been in place even before Dungy was dismissed, the team formally began discussions with the former Giants, Patriots and Jets coach on Tuesday.

The first indication that the plan to hire Parcells was falling apart came when the Jets announced Friday evening that Mike Tannenbaum, thought to be Parcells' hand-picked choice to be Tampa Bay's new general manager, was remaining in New York.

Earlier Friday, the Bucs confirmed receiving a letter from the NFL warning Parcells and the team that they could be punished for attempting to hire coaches and officials under contract to other teams.

The tampering warning came in a letter from Jeff Pash, the NFL's counsel, to Tampa Bay general manager Rich McKay after reports that Parcells was assembling a staff that includes people still under contract to other NFL teams.

The Parcells situation also has had an impact on the Pro Football Hall of Fame ballot.

Parcells, a finalist last season, is again among the 15 finalists this year. But because a coach isn't eligible while he is still coaching, he would be removed from the ballot if he comes out of retirement.

A year ago, after failing to be elected, he suggested that one reason was that the voters thought he might return to coaching.

The ballot was released later than usual this year because Hall of Fame officials were concerned that Parcells might take the Tampa Bay job.

Parcells, who won two Super Bowls with the New York Giants and rebuilt New England and the Jets into title contenders, told CNNSI.com that he will not change his mind about remaining out of coaching.

"Absolutely not. I'm done," Parcells said. "This was the last job I will ever consider. I'm just not doing it any more."