Anybody who wants to replace Larry Brown at Kansas has until 5 p.m. next Tuesday to apply.
But Southwest Missouri State Coach Charlie Spoonhour, whose name is hot on the Jayhawk rumor wire, doubts the job will go to somebody who had to ask for it."It's one of the premier jobs in college basketball," Spoonhour said. "It's the kind of position where you don't approach them; they approach you."
So far, athletic director Bob Frederick said Wednesday, no one has been approached.
"We will not begin interviewing people until a week from today," Frederick said, adding that he may not move as swiftly to fill Brown's position as he first thought. Monday, when Brown confirmed reports that he would leave the Jayhawks for a $3.5 million contract with the San Diego Spurs, Frederick said he hoped to have a coach by July 10.
"I'm almost sorry now that I said that," Frederick said. "In thinking about it, I don't think it's that important right now that we act hastily. I just want to make sure we have the right coach."
July 10 marks the beginning of a three-week period in which coaches can evaluate - but not recruit - high school prospects.
"July 10 would be ideal, but I'm not so sure the evaluation period in the summer is all that crucial," Frederick said. "But I don't think it will be a long process. I think the candidates are mostly easily identifiable."
Names being tossed around read like a who's who of successful American coaches even though Kentucky's Eddie Sutton and Georgia Tech's Bobby Cremins both said Tuesday they would not be interested. Also being prominently mentioned are Gene Keady of Purdue, Gary Williams of Ohio State, Temple Coach John Chaney, former Kansas assistant Bob Hill, West Virginia Coach Gale Catlett, Wichita State Coach Eddie Fogler and Spoonhour.
A search committee was assembled Wednesday composed of faculty representative Del Brinkman, dean of the Kansas school of journalism; junior forward Milt Newton, a key member of the 1988 NCAA championship team; assistant athletic director Richard Konzem; physical education professor Carole Zebas; Galen Fiss, a prominent Kansas alumni; Arno Knapper, chairman of the Kansas athletic corporation board; Maurice King, a former Kansas basketball player, and Ron McCurdy, a professor in the music department.
Money does not figure to be a problem. Sources close to the situation said Brown's total package, including endorsements and summer camp, totaled about $500,000 a year.
"It's wide open at this point," Frederick said. "The search committee will recommend some acceptable candidates to me and I will make the final decision. I imagine the committee would trim the list to about three or four eventually."
Several of the supposed candidates have ties to the school or region. Catlett was an assistant for former Kansas Coach Ted Owens from 1967-71 and Keady is a Kansas State alumni. Sources said many influential Jayhawk boosters are putting up Spoonhour's name since last year he beat Wichita State and won at Kansas State in four overtimes.
"It's very flattering for people to say I should be considered, but I haven't heard a thing from Kansas," said Spoonhour, a native of Mulberry, Kan. "Maybe the reason nobody can call me about the job is because my telephone's been kept busy every minute talking to sportswriters asking me if I've heard from Kansas," he added with a laugh.