Report: Rick Barnes torn between Tennessee, UCLA
The mutual interest between Tennessee coach Rick Barnes and the UCLA Bruins appears real, but departing Knoxville is proving to be a bit difficult for him.
According to Chris Low of ESPN, Barnes is “wrestling” with the decision to stay at Tennessee or move to UCLA, and is expected to make a decision within the next day or so. The 64-year-old is very happy in Tennessee, but the chance to finish his career at UCLA with the chance to restore the program to prominence is very tempting to him.
UCLA would reportedly be willing to offer Barnes up to $5 million per year to move west. He has had some preliminary discussions about an improved deal at Tennessee as well.
Reporting about how sold Barnes was on UCLA is clearly overstated, as it sounds like the school is hoping he will take the job. He’ll have to decide if his comfort in eastern Tennessee outweighs the chance to rebuild the storied UCLA program.