Report: Tennessee Running “Full Court Press” on Rick Barnes

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    Photo credit: Anne Newman/RTI

    Update on the bottom of the page

    The ongoing saga surrounding Tennessee head basketball coach Rick Barnes and UCLA continues to twist and turn.

    According to Russell Biven of WBIR, Tennessee is “about to run a full court press” in order to keep Barnes as the Vols’ head coach. Biven was one of many to report late Sunday night that Barnes and Tennessee Athletics Director Phillip Fulmer were meeting on campus to discuss the ongoing situation.

    That report was followed up by another report from long-time Knoxville report Jimmy Hyams.

    Per Hyams, an announcement about Barnes’ status one way or the other could come “within an hour.” Hyams also added some context about the reports stating that UCLA spoke with Barnes, adding that the initial meeting between the two happened on Thursday, April 4th while Fulmer was in Tampa Bay interviewing candidates for the Lady Vols’ head coaching position.

    Barnes is making $3.25 million annually at Tennessee after signing a contract extension last offseason, and his buyout is expected to be $5 million. UCLA balked at paying $8 million to buy out the remainder of Jamie Dixon’s contract at TCU, and that’s how the Bruins got to his situation.

    According to a source from The Read Optional’s Trey Wallace, UCLA will have “no problem” paying Barnes’ buyout, which is $3 million less than what Dixon’s was.

    If you missed any info that came out late Sunday night or early Monday morning, we have a full update for you here.

    We will continue to update as more information becomes available.

    UPDATE (4-8-19, 12:52 PM): According to an updated report from WBIR, an offer has been made to Barnes from Tennessee, and he’s currently mulling it over.

    Per WBIR’s report, Tennessee made an offer to Barnes and he is now “prayerfully considering his options.” WBIR also adds that a decision is expected today, Monday April 8th.

    Nathanael Rutherford
    Nathanael Rutherford is the managing editor and social media manager for Rocky Top Insider. Nathanael graduated from the University of Tennessee and cultivated a passion for the Vols while growing up in Knoxville a mere 10 minutes from Neyland Stadium. He's been a part of the RTI team since November of 2015 and has been the editor of RTI since June of 2017. If he's not talking or writing about Tennessee athletics, he's probably talking about Star Wars.