When it was reported that Rick Barnes would remain the Tennessee Vols head coach, after UCLA’s strong pursuit, it was assumed that money, in some fashion, was the main reason.

Money is almost always the driving factor in coaching hires/changes, but it’s usually not actually referenced by coaches or programs.

Barnes, however, was remarkably honest with reporters on Tuesday about his decision to stay at Tennessee.

The Hickory, NC native told the media that he just couldn’t make things work financially with UCLA — specifically the buyout.

Now, I don’t think Barnes is only at Tennessee because of money. I think he truly loves Knoxville and being the Vols’ head coach. And I think the UCLA job is one of the only jobs that Barnes would’ve even discussed taking.

But if Barnes desperately wanted out of UT (obviously he didn’t), he could’ve worked something out with UCLA. If there’s enough mutual interest, the finances can get worked out.

Barnes, though, didn’t get exactly what he wanted from UCLA so he remained at Tennessee.

And even if Barnes had got what he wanted from the Bruins, it still would’ve likely been a tough decision. As Barnes put it, he lost five pounds while he figured out what he was going to do.

I think it’s great that Barnes was honest about the buyout being the hold up in his dealings with UCLA. It shows that when Barnes talks about how much he loves Knoxville and the state of Tennessee that he truly means it.

You can take Barnes at his word, which is something that’s not always true of head coaches.

By the way, how close was Barnes to taking the UCLA job?

At one point, he thought that’s where he was heading. But Barnes prayed about it and said he felt led to stay at Tennessee.

Featured image via Thomas J. Russo-USA TODAY Sports

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