Florida State assistant Jimbo Fisher said last night he will be staying at the school, ending rumors that he might become the next head coach at West Virginia.

"I know media reports are circulating regarding the possibility of West Virginia's head coaching position. I am a native of West Virginia and I love the state, but I want to make clear that I am staying at Florida State," Fisher said in a statement released through the university.

"I am committed to this university, this program and these players. I am excited about where I am and where Seminole football is headed."

The 42-year-old offensive coordinator said he would follow Bobby Bowden as head coach at Florida State in a news conference on Dec. 10, when Bowden's contract was extended for 1 year.

At the same time, Fisher's base pay was increased to $625,000, and he received a $2.5 million guarantee to remain as offensive coordinator for three seasons if Bowden remains that long. Bowden's contract allows him to decide on his coaching future on a yearly basis.


* Oklahoma's Lendy Holmes, who was to start at cornerback against West Virginia in the Jan. 2 Fiesta Bowl, is academically ineligible and won't play, his father told the Dallas Morning News. However, Lendy Holmes Sr. said the matter isn't totally resolved yet and there was still an outside chance his son could "make it right" and gain his eligibility.

* Missouri coach Gary Pinkel was given a $550,000 annual raise, boosting his guaranteed compensation to $1.85 million a year. Pinkel also got a 1-year extension through 2012. No. 7 Missouri (11-2) faces No. 25 Arkansas (8-4) in the Cotton Bowl on Jan. 1.

In last night's game:

* At Honolulu, Ben Hartman's 34-yard field goal as time expired lifted East Carolina (8-5) over No. 24 Boise State, 41-38, in the Hawaii Bowl.

Boise State (10-3) had come back from a 38-14 deficit and tied it on Marty Tadman's 47-yard fumble return with 1:25 left. The ball was fumbled by Chris Johnson, who set an NCAA bowl record with 408 all-purpose yards: 223 rushing, 32 receiving and 153 on six kickoff returns. *