Well now...

Mark Berman: According to college basketball sources Arkansas (@ArkRazorbacks) officials have been pursuing another high profile candidate and have never spoken to @UHCougarMBK Coach Kelvin Sampson. UH has offered Sampson a six-year contract worth $18 million to continue coaching the Cougars – via Twitter MarkBermanFox26

I assume we talk through agents and not directly to a coach until final, but this would be interesting development if true.

Berman is the Sports Director for Fox Sports Channel 26 in Houston for those that don’t know. And yes, he did tweet that.

If we don’t make a announcement by Wednesday I would think we are putting all our apples in the cart Chris Beard is pushing ! WPS

I can’t see that. Not saying it’s not true, but I can’t see us paying Beard enough. No way we poach a FF coach unless we go $8 million, the most I’ve heard is $5 million plus benefits, and the most I’ve heard from someone with actual credentials (sports reporter) was $4.5 million with benefits

I’ve said elsewhere that my gut is that it’s not Sampson. Think he stays at UH for a host of reasons. I also don’t think it’s Beard. 2% chance of that.

Mark Few or maybe Self. Or maybe even Pitino. I guess even Buzz Williams is in play. It will be a very good hire. I can tell HY knows what he’s doing.

I can’t

Hope you’re correct

I guess it’s possible this guy is April Fooling people, however he seems really credible and he wouldn’t play like that.

I will say for this guy to be right A LOT of other people, including people the national media would have to be wrong. Pretty much every member of Arkansas media has at least confirmed there’s been talks among the 2 camps. A lot of people in Houston’s media has confirmed that as well. Also the billionaire guy from Houston was on camera saying Arkansas was pursuing him, I would think he would be connected enough to know if talks were happening.

Mark Berman is a sharp reporter with great sources in H-town. I tend to believe him on this.

OK, let’s say it’s not KS and HY is swinging for the fences. Final Four salaries from the USA Today database:

Tom Izzo $4.1 million
Tony Bennett $4.1 million
Chris Beard $2.8 million
Bruce Pearl $2.6 million

Other wish-list/ mentioned here names:
Gregg Marshall $3.5 million
Buzz Williams $3 million
Mark Few $1.8 million
Thad Matta $0 (out of coaching for two years)
Matt Painter $2.8 million
Dana Altman $2.8 million (yes, I’m fully aware of the irony here but he was interested once and Mike cleaned up that mess).
Eric Musselman – not in the USAT database but media reports in Reno have him in the low $1 million range.
Richard Pitino $2.1 million
Rick Pitino – can’t find what he’s making in Greece, but supposedly he really wants the UCLA job. He was making $7 million plus at UL between school pay and Adidas money that went directly to him. Interestingly, Pitino’s agent is Drew Rosenhaus, best known for representing NFL quarterbacks and the inspiration for Jerry Maguire.

Mark Few is 0% chance. He’s had much bigger offers than Arkansas over the years, he’s Gonzaga till he retires. Also, he could have that UCLA job in a heartbeat.

Buzz Williams is about a 5% chance, Texas guy, Texas A&M wants him bad and everything I’ve read he really wants to stay and Texas and be at a school like that. It’s possible Arkansas could get in a bidding war and convince him, but Texas A&M looks very likely.

Pitino about a 0.1% chance, Arkansas already had a big scandal with Petrino, we are not taking on a coach that was linked to stripper parties and cheating on several levels. There’s not even mid-major schools that are willing to touch him.

If Sampson falls through, Musselman is probably the #1 guy and probably takes the job. If that doesn’t go through then you are probably looking at them going after someone like Steve Alford or Chris Jans.

Well now…

If this is indeed the case, HY will be tied at the hip with whoever ends up with the job. And he will be having a short stint as the Arkansas AD. Because he will be fired with him. Or maybe even before.

I agree Few is an extreme longshot. But not 0%. Let’s see. And Jeff Long — Mr. integrity over winning — is gone Blu. I’m not so sure HY or others in charge would balk at Pitino. We need to quit thinking like the incompetent athletic department did in the recent past. That is, well, in the past.

Couple things here, first comes from Hogville and actually makes sense (I know crazy right), Mark Berman could be 100% correct and we still end up with Sampson, it’s a safe bet that AR reached out and spoke to Sampson’s agent, not Sampson. That way the coach can deny speaking to anyone until he accepts the offer through his agent. They have agents for a reason.

Second, yesterday about 8:00 pm, my news feed on Twitter said Mark Fox was meeting with UCLA about the job opening. I don’t know if that’s true, but it was well enough before midnight to not be an April Fool’s joke.

Finally, I think there is more of a chance for Few to leave Gonzaga than everyone thinks (I’m not saying he’s coming to AR), but (rumor mill) is he sent out feelers earlier this year (Dec, sound familiar with other rumors?) saying that he may be looking for a change. There is an interview from two years ago, where he says he’s a little disappointed with people not calling anymore (they’re assuming he’s staying), so Few seems to maybe at least want to be courted. Not saying he will leave Gonzaga and come here, but him leaving Gonzaga may change every current open coaching search. You have to think Texas (rumored for Beard), aTm (rumored for Buzz), UCLA (Fox see above), and AR would all attempt to woo him, and if they don’t think they’ll get him they’ll go after the others first. Gonzaga would also open up, and right now, they are a desirable destination.

Just my opinion

Mark Fox has already taken the Cal job.

Interesting (Altman to AR, Beard to UNLV) doesn’t mean he didn’t meet with them

I’m a newbie here, and I’m not trying to step on toes, but I seriously would’ve hoped Yurachek would’ve already lined up a replacement before pulling the plug on MA. I believe that a change at the HC position was needed, but the last thing I think any of us want to see is this search turn out like the search post-Stan Heath did.

One more note about the Mark Berman tweet. Sampson was on a Houston radio station last Wednesday and they asked him about the rumors. A lot of times in that situation a coach will say “I haven’t talked to anyone,” knowing full well his agent just got off the phone with the AD, just to have plausible deniability. But he said in the radio interview that his agent hadn’t been talking to anyone either. Could be BS, but also could be true, and that would dovetail with Berman’s tweet. But we shall see one way or the other.

Hmmmm…hiring my own assistants?

I think these coaching hires are very difficult to pull off. Just like any multi million dollar deal. Most don’t fully understand this, including me. Many external factors, agents, and personalities in play. I’m sure Sampson has been through this many times and has a hard negotiating edge to him. This won’t be easy, but we will see. It’ll be a lot more complex if Sampson insists on some provision for his son. And all of this assumes Sampson is even in play. I’m skeptical he ultimately will be.

Chris Beard all the way.