Same tune, different verse.
Reports have come out that Rick Barnes has decided to stay at Tennessee, spurning the advances of Dan Guerrero and the UCLA Bruins.
Tennessee athletic director Phillip Fulmer released a statement on Rick Barnes' decision to stay in Knoxville. pic.twitter.com/KyIGaFg4nU— David Ubben (@davidubben) April 9, 2019
UCLA reportedly offered Barnes a $5 million a year contract to leave Knoxville and come to Westwood, but after conversations with Tennessee AD Phillip Fulmer, Barnes made the choice to return.
Of course, it should be noted that Phil Fulmer only came to become the AD after the previous AD botched a football coaching search so badly that he was fired and Fulmer was put in place to make the next hire. One can’t help but hope something like that happens here with UCLA, because, as has been made clear repeatedly, Dan Guerrero has done a complete botch job of this coaching search.
Case in point? Check out this quick report from 247Sports’ Evan Daniels:
Sources: Rick Barnes' decision to stay at Tennessee was two-fold. 1. There was a last minute snag in negotiations with UCLA. 2. Tennessee stepped up.— Evan Daniels (@EvanDaniels) April 9, 2019
Seriously, how do you make the same mistake multiple times in a one-week span? I would say it’s baffling, if it wasn’t par for the course with Dan Guerrero’s athletic department.
Now the coaching search will, once again, turn towards its next target. Early reports say the pivot will be to Cincinnati coach Mick Cronin, who was recently passed over for the Virginia Tech job, while options like St. Mary’s Randy Bennett wait in the wings. Virginia’s Tony Bennett and Texas Tech’s Chris Beard will also be available to talk after tonight, of course.
That timer can’t reach zero soon enough.