REPORT: Rick Barnes Turns Down UCLA, Was Offered $5 Million Annually

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David Hookstead Smoke Room Editor-in-Chief
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Rick Barnes will apparently be sticking around with the Tennessee Volunteers.

According to ESPN’s Chris Low late Monday night, Barnes was offered $5 million to take over UCLA’s basketball program, but turned it down after the Volunteers gave him a new deal.

I’d love to know what kind of deal Tennessee slid across the table for Barnes to sign in order for him to turn down $5 million from the Bruins. There had previously been reports that the former Texas coach would absolutely head to the PAC-12 if UCLA offered him a job. (RELATED: Virginia Wins The National Title After Beating Texas Tech)

Apparently, that wasn’t the case at all. He liked whatever he was getting enough to turn down one of the most historic programs in the sport.


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It was incredibly smart for the Volunteers to lock down Barnes. He’s doing great things with the program. They went to the Sweet 16 this year, and had an incredible regular season.

When a coach elevates a program the way Barnes has, then you do whatever it takes to keep him.


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It is wild that UCLA is struggling so much to get a new basketball coach. They’re the definition of a blue blood program. They’ve got tons of money, tons of great history and they’re in one of the most fertile recruiting grounds on the planet.

Getting a new coach shouldn’t be this hard, but I suppose nothing in the world of college sports is easy. You have to love it!

It should be fun to see what Barnes is able to do in the coming years in Knoxville.

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