Kent State pays off Purdue for shot at Bama in 2011

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (AP) - Kent State will open the 2011 season at Alabama against alum and Crimson Tide coach Nick Saban, but only after forking over a fee to break the Ohio college's commitment to play Perdue. Perdue athletic director Morgan Burke says Kent State will pay $425,000 to get out of the contract.

Burke says he got word of the move Wednesday from Kent State athletic director Joel Nielsen who told him that the school would pay to break the contract. Burke says he was "personally surprised" by the late decision, but said his staff is moving quickly to find a replacement opponent.

The Golden Flashes will face one of the nation's powerhouse programs on Sept. 3 in what will be the first meeting between the schools in football, and Kent State's first game at an SEC school since visiting Kentucky in 2007. The game will be played at Bryant-Denny Stadium in Tuscaloosa.

Saban played defensive back for the Golden Flashes from 1970-72. He was teammates with Hall of Fame linebacker Jack Lambert and Missouri coach Gary Pinkel in 1972, when Kent State won the only Mid-American Conference title in school history.

Saban graduated with a bachelor's degree in business and earned a master's degree in sports administration from Kent State.

CLICK HERE to see Alabama's 2011 schedule.

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