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.
Barnes is asked directly if he would have left if UCLA had covered the buyout: “I think I would have been the coach at UCLA.”
— David Ubben (@davidubben) April 16, 2019
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.
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.