According to a report from ESPN’s Chris Low, Tennessee Vols head coach Rick Barnes is torn between UT and UCLA, after receiving a lucrative offer from the Bruins.
Low reported on Monday afternoon that UCLA offered Barnes a deal worth $5 million a year, plus bonuses and incentives. Tennessee has reportedly offered Barnes, who was extended by UT last fall, a new deal to stay in Knoxville.
UCLA has offered Rick Barnes $5 million a year, and Tennessee has also come to the table with a new deal, sources tell ESPN. Barnes is wrestling with the decision. He loves living in Tennessee, but the chance to restore UCLA to its past glory is enticing. https://t.co/hYaGcVEubA
— Chris Low (@ClowESPN) April 8, 2019
Based on the tone of Low’s report, it would appear that Barnes’ decision isn’t going to come down to money (given the cost of living and state income tax laws in California, $5 million wouldn’t be a “huge” pay raise for Barnes).
If UCLA offered Rick Barnes $5 million per year, that would actually be a $280,000 PAY CUT from his current #Vols deal, once you factor in California state income taxes and cost of living in Los Angeles.
So, no, this isn’t about money.
— Wes Rucker (@wesrucker247) April 8, 2019
Barnes is trying to decide whether he wants to remain in East Tennessee, where he’s a perfect fit, or if he wants to end his career by resurrecting one of the most storied programs in college basketball history.
Tennessee is likely losing a lot of talent heading into next season, so either job will be a challenge for the soon-to-be 65 year old coach.
I’d expect a resolution, one way or the other, to come rather quickly.
Nothing is ever easy on Rocky Top.
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