Sunday, March 28, 2010
CBS Sports - Gary Parrish: Minnesota 'can't pay' Tubby Smith what Oregon could
Minnesota 'can't pay' Smith what Oregon could
Posted on: March 27, 2010 11:21 am
HOUSTON -- It's been 11 days since Oregon fired Ernie Kent, and there's still no coach in place.
But that could change soon if the school moves away from its top candidates.
It's no secret that Oregon -- backed by the money of Nike founder Phil Knight -- would love to make a big hire like Mark Few, Jamie Dixon or Billy Donovan, but that seems unlikely at this point because Few and Dixon have little interest in leaving Gonzaga and Pittsburgh -- remember, either could've had the Arizona job last year -- and anything west of the Mississippi River is unfamiliar territory (and probably too far from home) for Donovan, a New York native who has won two national titles at Florida.
That leaves the next tier of candidates headlined by Texas A&M's Mark Turgeon and Minnesota's Tubby Smith.
Prediction: Oregon will land one of those two.
It's worth noting only Texas A&M seems willing to fight for its coach.
"We will make every effort to make sure Mark Turgeon remains our coach," Texas A&M athletics director Bill Byrne, coincidentally also a former Oregon athletics director, told The Register-Guard. "And Ducks who remember me will know how hard I'll work to do that. … My [job] is to keep Mark Turgeon as the coach of the Aggies."
Minnesota athletic director Joel Maturi isn't as enthusiastic about trying to keep Smith.
"Somebody will offer him $3 million," Maturi told the St. Paul Pioneer-Press. "We can't pay him $3 million."
Bottom line, Oregon probably won't get Few, Dixon or Donovan, but Turgeon and Smith are realistic options.
One of the latter two will likely be offered and accept the position in the next week.
Just depends on which coach Oregon officials want to purchase.