A&M says head coach Franchione will be evaluated at end of season

Rumors about a buyout Monday were put to rest by athletics director Bill Byrne.

.COLLEGE STATION, Texas (AP) – Texas A&M said Monday it would wait until the end of the football season before deciding Coach Dennis Franchione’s fate.

CBS Sportsline and the Houston Chronicle reported Monday that Franchione and the school were working on a buyout deal that would end his tenure at the end of this season.

The Aggies have underachieved in Franchione’s five seasons, losing ground to the elite teams in the Big 12 and slipping out of the national spotlight. He was also bruised by the discovery of subscription emails to boosters that gave information about players.

Franchione’s contract paid him over $2 million per year and ran through 2012. The two media Web sites reported that Franchione and the school were ironing out the details of a buyout. The Chronicle said Franchione will remain A&M’s coach until the end of the season.

“There are several false rumors circulating regarding the Texas A&M football program,” the school said in an e-mailed statement.

Athletics department spokesman Alan Cannon said athletics director Bill Byrne would wait until the end of the season to evaluate Franchione, as he does with all coaches.

Cannon added, “I have received no indication that he has changed his stance.” Cannon said Franchione is still A&M’s coach and is preparing the team to play Missouri on Saturday.

Franchione, 56, has a 31-28 record at A&M and is 2-12 against main rivals Texas, Texas Tech and Oklahoma.

His stormy tenure took another big hit on Sept. 20, when the Aggies lost 34-17 to Miami on national television.

A week later, a newspaper revealed a series of e-mails that Franchione had been sending to boosters, who paid $1,200 to receive them. The e-mails, dubbed “The VIP Connection,” contained news about players’ injuries, their academic standing and Franchione’s blunt assessments of their skills.