Regents to consider Stoops' pay

2009-04-15T00:00:00Z Regents to consider Stoops' payBy Ryan Finley arizona daily star Arizona Daily Star
April 15, 2009 12:00 am  • 

Mike Stoops chuckled Tuesday when asked for the latest on his long-promised contract extension.

"Man, that's a good question," he cracked.

It's been nearly four months since the Arizona Wildcats football coach and athletic director Jim Livengood agreed in principle to a three-year deal that would keep him in Tucson through 2013.

Stoops should have a resolution soon. A spokeswoman for the Arizona Board of Regents confirmed Tuesday that Stoops' contract will be on the agenda when the board meets April 30-May 1 on campus at the UA.

The board will have an open meeting at 10a.m. May1 and vote on the contract, the final step in what can be a lengthy process.

"Things like this have to go through several executive sessions' worth of vetting," spokeswoman Andrea Smiley said.

Board policy dictates that all highly paid employees must have their contracts approved before they become official. Stoops' current deal, signed in 2004 and renewed in 2006, pays him $650,000 annually with incentives that could make its total value more than $1.2 million.

Though details of the contract won't be released until later this week, Stoops will receive a raise.

Reached Tuesday, Livengood declined to reveal specifics — "we'll let (the board) release it," he said — but confirmed that Stoops' new contract will be a richer one.

"He's being taken care of," Livengood said.

Left tackle surprise

The winner of Arizona's left tackle battle is … a guard?

Mike Diaz, who started nine games at left guard a year ago, will be first on the depth chart when the Wildcats open training camp Aug. 6. Diaz was limited in spring drills because of an ankle injury but impressed coaches with his toughness.

Diaz's size — 6 feet 5 inches, 340 pounds — is more typical of a tackle than a guard anyway.

"He's a very physical and very intelligent guy. We feel very good about him," Stoops said.

Conan Amituanai will assume Diaz's spot at left guard for the time being, though it's conceivable Diaz could move back inside if any of the Wildcats' other candidates — Phil Garcia, Jack Julsing, Shane Zink or Trace Biskin — plays well in training camp.

Extra points

• Quarterbacks Matt Scott and Nick Foles will share time in training camp until a starter is named, Stoops said.

"I would say one wouldn't be named until we get into final preparations for our first opponent," he said.

• The Wildcats are expected to spend one extra day at Fort Huachuca this summer as they prepare for the season. The Wildcats will likely depart for the fort on Aug. 12, returning four days later.

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