KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Tennessee coach Rick Barnes believes he’d be coaching UCLA’s men’s basketball team right now if buyout negotiations hadn’t broken down.
Barnes’ contract required Tennessee to receive $5 million if he had left for another job before Monday. The buyout is slightly less now. Barnes spoke with UCLA officials, but a deal could not be worked out. Tennessee announced on April 8 that Barnes was stay ing in Knoxville.
UCLA hired Mick Cronin from Cincinnati on April 9 to replace Steve Alford, who was fired Dec. 31. Murry Bartow had served as UCLA’s interim head coach the remainder of the 2018-19 season.
Barnes said at a Tuesday news conference that “when you get down to a situation like that, it has to make sense from a financial standpoint.” He added that “the bottom line is we just couldn’t work it out with the buyout.”