Reports started coming out Sunday evening, that UCLA had made an offer to current Tennessee coach, Rick Barnes.
At first glimpse you think, “This is a way for Barnes to get a raise “, and it may very well just end up being the outcome of this situation. Or at least Vol Nation hopes.
Chris Low of ESPN reports that it isn’t about money, but Barnes would accept the job because “it would be a great ending to his career to restore one of the greatest basketball traditions”. Let’s also not forget that UCLA offered Barnes $5mil/yr which would make Barnes the 4th highest paid coach in the country.
But here is what I think. Does Barnes leave for UCLA?……Yes, but not for $5mil/yr or to restore ,at one time, the best basketball program in the country. However, he leaves because of money, not his, but Rob Lanier’s.
I believe that Barnes went to Phillip Fulmer and try to get a raise for Lanier and a “Head Coach In Waiting” tag before his departure for Georgia State but to the demise of Barnes, Fulmer declined.
Tennessee is coming off of its greatest season in school history, spent 4 weeks at #1, and can not get the money to keep it’s most valuable assistant coach. To the contrary, Tennessee Football, is coming off back to back losing seasons and they have 8 assistant coaches whose salaries top Lanier’s $425,000/yr.
So, you see, it isn’t about money to Rick Barnes, but it is. He will go to UCLA, restore them to a tournament team, and wish like crazy he was still in Knoxville the whole time.