While Ball State Coach Rick Majerus remains the leading candidate, it appears that an announcement on the basketball coaching vacancy at the University of Utah won't come for at least five days.
U. Athletic Director Chris Hill said late Wednesday night there would be no announcements on the coaching situation Thursday and none on Friday "unless I run into the promised land in Seattle." But later Hill said no announcement would be coming while he was in Seattle for the Final Four, and he was leaving Friday. "We're going to do it right, with a press conference in Salt Lake," he said.Which means it would be at least Tuesday before such a press conference could be held, since the NCAA finals are Monday night.
Several sources in Utah have said this week the Utah-Majerus deal was "sewed up", and as early as Monday night a reporter in Chicago called it "a done deal."
On Tuesday it appeared that the snag in the naming of Majerus as the new Ute coach was coming from Majerus' side, since it is known he is being considered for several coaching oppportunities. But Wednesday, a source in Indiana close to the situation said the ball was in Utah's court now. Majerus has said publicly he would like to come West, and he is known to like Utah. The only other significant job open in the West is at Washington. But Utah hasn't made Majerus an offer yet.
"I haven't discussed salary with anyone," said Hill, who disputed a published report Wednesday that said Majerus had been offered a $225,000-a-year package.
It is known that Majerus made a visit to Utah earlier this week, and he is apparently the only candidate for the Ute job who has been in town.
On Wednesday afternoon, Majerus met with Ball State Athletic Director Don Purvis, presumably to discuss his future. The source close to Majerus said he has the pick of about 10 jobs, but that he could also end up staying at Ball State. The Cardinals return 12 of their 13 players from this year's 29-3 squad that advanced to the second round of the NCAA tournament.
The other candidates that are said to be in the running for the Ute job are St. Mary's Coach Lynn Nance, Southwest Missouri State's Charlie Spoonhour, Evansville's Jim Crews, New Orleans' Tim Floyd, and Boise State's Bobby Dye.
Hill said it isn't likely he'll come up with a new candidate while he's in Seattle. "I'm not going to be up there shopping," he said.
Hill is apparently being cautious in making what is the biggest decision since he became the Utah A.D. 18 months ago. And he is growing weary of the whole selection process.
"There's nobody who wants to get it done more than I do," said Hill. "But we have to go through the right process, and it can get very involved."