Jerry Claiborne, Maryland's head football coach, confirmed last night that he met with University of Kentucky officials Thursday concerning the vacant head coaching job at the Southeastern Conference school.
"I met with them and I haven't made any decision and neither have they," he said.
The meeting came one day after Cliff Hagan, Kentucky athletic director, had sought and received permission from Maryland Athletic Director Dick Dull to interview Claiborne. Neither Dull nor Hagan was available for comment.
The coaching vacancy was created last month when Fran Curci was fired.
Claiborne would say nothing more than that the meeting took place.
Earlier in the day, before sources reported that Claiborne had already met with Kentucky officials, the coach said: "I really don't want to talk about it . . . the less said about this the better. I'm working hard to recruit here at Maryland and speculation hurts that."
Claiborne, 53, is a native of Hopkinsville, Ky., and was named the outstanding senior on the 1949 Kentucky team that played in the Orange Bowl. His 10-year coaching record at Maryland is 77-37-3. This season's 4-6-1 record was his only losing record here.
Kentucky's No. 1 choice was Howard Schnellenberger, who Wednesday morning notified Kentucky officials that he had decided to remain at the University of Miami. He had reportedly signed a multiyear contract at $150,000 annually.
That reopened the selection process and a source close to the Kentucky administration said yesterday that Claiborne should not yet be considered the top candidate for the job, but one of about five "viable choices."
The source listed the others as Roy Kidd, head coach at Division I-AA power Eastern Kentucky; Charles Bailey, defensive coordinator at Kentucky; John Hadl, former star pro quarterback who is considered the top choice for the vacant Utah job, and John Cooper, head coach at Tulsa.