Rick Barnes Reveals How Close He Was To Leaving Tennessee

William Davis | Contributor

Tennessee head basketball coach Rick Barnes made a bold admission during a Tuesday news conference.

It’s no secret that Barnes was courted by the Bruins during its recent coaching search and that Barnes seriously considered leaving Tennessee. Barnes revealed earlier this week, however, just how close he came to leaving. (RELATED: Twitter Reacts To Kentucky Giving John Calipari A Lifetime Contract)

Barnes admitted that if UCLA had ponied up for his buyout, he would be Los Angeles right now. UCLA eventually hired former Cincinnati head coach Mick Cronin.


While Barnes has never been one for political correctness, it’s still amazing to me that he would admit this publicly. How do his players feel about this? What about potential recruits?

Barnes is a great coach and probably won’t suffer from this, but I just don’t see how he thought this was a good idea.

Rick Barnes the head coach of the Tennessee Volunteers gives instructions to his team during the 82-78 win over the Kentucky Wildcats during the semifinals of the SEC Basketball Tournament at Bridgestone Arena on March 16, 2019 in Nashville, Tennessee

Rick Barnes the head coach of the Tennessee Volunteers gives instructions to his team during the 82-78 win … (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

On the other hand, what was UCLA thinking?

If they want to return to the elites of college basketball, why wouldn’t they pay $5 million for an elite coach?

Cronin is a fine coach, but that should be a major red flag for UCLA fans.

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Tags : college basketball rick barnes tennessee volunteers ucla bruins
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