I’m thinking this search only has a lifespan of two more days, maybe three. That’s for the best – this is going to kill me.
Brad Stevens was mentioned in two stories today – one from Shannon Ryan at the Trib, which said pretty much nothing new, and another from Herb Gould at the Sun-Times, which said a lot, albeit weirdly. Here are the key parts:
Butler coach Brad Stevens met with Illinois officials Sunday, multiple sources told the Sun-Times, but it might not have been what people think.
Even though Illinois is prepared to come up with an eight-year deal worth more than $20 million, it’s not clear whether Stevens is genuinely open to changing jobs or simply was interested in hearing what the Illini representatives had to say.
If true, it’s significant that Stevens met with Illinois. If all he wanted was to hear what they had to say, that can be accomplished through other means.
‘‘They may even have called him to ask about [Ohio coach] John Groce,’’ one source said, referring to someone else on athletic director Mike Thomas’ radar after he guided the Bobcats to their second strong NCAA tournament in three years.
Huh? You’re going to direct this much attention towards Stevens just to treat him as a reference?
— Herb Gould (@HerbGould) March 25, 2012
That still sounds like a bit of a reach from Herb’s source. You could easily do your due diligence on Groce without pumping another candidate for the same job for information. Then there’s this from Dan Bernstein:
As reported here yesterday, Stevens is #Illini plan B.He’s demanding same pkg offered Shaka.Denials of talks were on a technicality.
— Dan Bernstein (@dan_bernstein) March 25, 2012
What? If he’s “demanding” that, then give it to him and close the deal. I wish it were that simple, but unfortunately, it’s probably not.
John Groce was the co-star of that Gould article, which claims that Groce has been contacted by Illinois, but only in a preliminary manner. It’s probably going to be him, isn’t it? [kicks dirt]