Over the weekend, Rick Barnes emerged as a serious contender for the UCLA job; according to WBIR, Tennessee has made an offer to keep Barnes in Knoxville and a decision is expected today.
Per WBIR’s report, UCLA officials met with Barnes in Knoxville over the weekend and offered him a five-year contract, after which Tennessee athletic director Phillip Fulmer met with Barnes as well. In September, Tennessee and Barnes agreed on a contract extension that raised his salary to $3.25 million per year, making him the second highest paid coach in the SEC behind John Calipari. If he were to leave Tennessee, he would owe the Vols a $5 million buyout.
WBIR anchor Russell Biven is also reporting that Barnes was offered the Arkansas job, but told the Razorbacks he wouldn’t consider leaving Tennessee for another SEC school. A blue blood school on the West Coast? That’s a little different.
After talking to several close to the situation, the Rick Barnes-to-UCLA chatter is a lot more than just chatter. I would expect a resolution, one way or the other, pretty quickly. Barnes and Phillip Fulmer met last night. UCLA has come hard after Barnes. https://t.co/Ei2FJBrxdq
— Chris Low (@ClowESPN) April 8, 2019
Is this just a ploy to get another raise or is Barnes headed west? It sounds like we’ll find out soon.