Matta already passed up his dream job this past off season, Indiana. If Indiana couldn't convince him to leave OSU I don't think UK will. Thad grew up a "Big 10" guy and that was his dream job. When he was at Xavier he had out clauses in his contract for a few different teams, all of them Big 10 teams.
He also signed a new contract with OSU during the past offseason that stretches through 2014-2015 with the money escalating every year. If OSU were to get to the Final 4 or win a championship, I'm sure he would get another new contract for as much as he wants. Gene Smith will pay him a ton to keep him at OSU. OSU can go dollar for dollar with UK if that were what it would come down to, we have the largest athletic budget in the country.
And to address what will be left if people were to leave next year...a whole lot. The only losses will be Oden, Lewis, and Harris. I have heard (a couple weeks ago) that Conley is planning to stay one more year. Cook is a toss up, I haven't heard one way or another. But our recruiting class next year is another top 10 class with another 7 footer. I'd say that if Oden is the only underclassmen to go, next year's team has the potential to be even better if the incoming 7 footer is as good as advertised.
and then tOSU will take over the WORLD!!!!!!!!11!!!!!!!
Sorry, got a little carried away there.
'When I'm not longer rapping, I want to open up an ice cream parlor and call myself Scoop Dogg.'
-Snoop on his retirement
Your Mom is happy.
Some people play baseball. Baseball plays Jay Bruce.
Heard some interesting stuff today. Those who have read my posts about UK sports know that I don't make a habit of running out conjecture and rumors...nor, do I drop names. What I heard today was confirmed by a pretty reliable "heavy-hitter" UK booster, a major head coach's agent who visits central KY frequently, and a former UK hoops player from several years ago.
Apparently, since around early February, Barnhardt has been utilizing his booster network to put out feelers to other head coaches. Mind you, he still never had any intention of buying out Tubby; however, he felt that the chances were strong enough that Tubby would be leaving on his own accord and decided to do some asking around indirectly through his booster network. Much of this had to do with Barnhardt removing Tubby's personal buyout language from his most recently re-worked contract with UK (2003). This extension basically allowed Tubby to leave UK before his contract was up without having to payback to the University $ 500,000 per year in buyout penalties.
Anyway, Barnhardt's plan all along was to clean house on Tubby's assistant coaching staff (they too were going to receive handsome buyout dollars) and bring in a young, upper-echelon, assistant coach who would also just so happen to be a recruiting monster. This new assistant coach would be placed on the bench and be groomed to succeed Tubby--either when his contract expired, or when he decided to leave, whichever came first.
So, this booster network began making calls both to major college and AAU head coaches to see what their opinions were about who fit the bill for this high level assistant coach. Because he still has PLENTY of friends within the UK booster nation, Rick Pitino was one of the coaches who was consulted on the matter. The discussion and endorsement all kept leading back to the same name: John Pelphrey.
So, this brings us to about one week ago. After Pelphrey was contacted to confirm his interest, Tubby was approached with the idea that was just described. Tubby was extremely gracious when he responded. He was careful to indicate that he had no concerns about the ability of John Pelphrey as an assistant coach. However, he flatly refused to let any of his assistants go. Say what you want about Orlando Smith, but if he says he has your back, the man has your back. The deal was off and Tubby made it clear that there would be no staff changes unless he approved them. Basically, Barnhardt found himself in a mess: To change assistants, he would have also to fire Tubby, spend lots of extra dollars on Tubby's buyout, have no head coach to groom Pelphrey, and suffer terrible ill-will from the rest of the potential pool of head coaching candidates (who all supported Tubby).
Even though Tubby began his dialogue with Minnesota in December, things really started to heat up on his end about this time. Barnhardt and his boosters felt like they could sit back and let things unfold in their favor. Sure enough, they did. Two days before the story broke about Tubby's Minnesota deal, these same boosters were sending around e-mails to some big supporters trying to prepare them for the pending shakeup. Part of this e-mail also tried to quell the local panic by indicating that initial discussions had already begun with Billy Donovan's "people."
It has also been mentioned that Barnhardt intentionally flooded the coach search "pool" to nearly 20 names in order to keep the heat off Donovan during the NCAA tournament. By all accounts, Dononvan is the ONLY choice for head coach by the people in this program who really matter. UK is prepared to offer Donovan a contract that would make him one of the richest coaches in college sports history (of ANY sport, by the way).
Jeremy Foley has the clock ticking in Gainesville right now. He knows what is happening and is rallying the troops (and the Brinks trucks) on his end of the equation. No matter what happens from this point on, Billy Donovan and his family will be extremely fortunate. It is still too early to say whether or not Donovan will take the job, but no other "candidate" will be made an offer until Donovan has had a chance to decide yes or no.
On the recruiting front, both Patterson and Lucas have been "leaked" some of this information. Their families assured one UK booster that if Donovan ended up at UK (especially with Randolph Morris now gone) the school would immediately move to the top of both of their lists.
"Booing on opening day is like telling grandma her house smells like old lady."--WOY
Thanks a lot for that post, Blimpie. Matches a lot of what I've been hearing as well. The job is Donovan's to turn down. Florida is going to want to keep him, sure; but they will not have the money to match UK at the end and even if they did, they will have another problem - Urban Meyer in turn wanting a huge raise. Again, I won't say it's an absolute lock, but I think it's quite likely Billy D is in Lexington.
I'm just worried that with this search being the legacy of Barnhardt that he will make a mistake in trying to reach for a Matta clone who makes the jump from Mid Major to the big time with a big splash. Creen and others frankly scare me as options.
Championships for MY teams in my lifetime:
Cincinnati Reds - 75, 76, 90
Chicago Blackhawks - 10, 13, 15
University of Kentucky - 78, 96, 98, 12
Chicago Bulls - 91, 92, 93, 96, 97, 98
Regardless, this will be the decision that defines Barnhardt's legacy at Kentucky.
Frankly I hope they (Fla) lose next game so they can get show on road and get a yes or no answer.
Creen doesnt excite me as some of the others being thrown around by Andy Katz. Even Izzo doesnt.
I'd take Denny Crum before any of those guys.....hey.......