Report: UCLA AD never asked Tennessee for permission to talk to Rick Barnes
UCLA was pursuing Rick Barnes for its head coaching vacancy prior to the 64-year-old finalizing a new contract with Tennessee on Monday, and it does not sound like the Bruins went about things in the classiest fashion.
Mike Wilson of the Knoxville News Sentinel reports that UCLA athletic director Dan Guerrero never reached out to Tennessee to ask for permission to speak with Barnes. UCLA reportedly offered Barnes a contract worth $5 million annually, which Tennessee countered on Monday to keep Barnes with the Vols.
Barnes is coming off a season in which he was named the Naismith Coach of the Year, so it’s possible he was never actually interested in UCLA and was just trying to capitalize on an opportunity.
UCLA is now stuck still looking for a coach, and they already passed on one candidate because of his hefty buyout. Between that and contacting Tennessee’s coach without getting permission first, UCLA’s search has gotten ugly in a hurry.