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Sunday, March 22, 2009

Coaching Rumors Heating Up

UPDATE: The UGA athletics offices confirmed Monday that no one from UGA has contacted Anthony Grant at this point and no offer is on the table.

UPDATE: VCU's athletics department confirms no contact has been made between Grant and UGA as of this morning.

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Georgia may be getting closer to finding its next head basketball coach.

Several sources confirmed Sunday that Virginia Commonwealth head coach Anthony Grant was a leading candidate for the vacant head-coaching job at Georgia and said that Grant was in Atlanta over the weekend, reportedly for a recruiting visit.

Georgia athletics director Damon Evans said Sunday, however, that no hire had been made and an agreement was not imminent with any candidate.

Georgia fired Dennis Felton as its head coach in January, and last month the school hired a search committee to assist in identifying his replacement. The school has been tight-lipped about potential candidates, however, refusing to address any individual possibilities specifically.

Several media outlets in Alabama have also reported that Grant tops the wishlist for the Crimson Tide, too, but several other candidates remain possibilities in that coaching search as well.

Grant, a former assistant under Billy Donovan at Florida for 10 years, has spent the past three seasons as head coach at Virginia Commonwealth. In two of the past three seasons, he took the Rams to the NCAA tournament, losing in the first round this year to UCLA.

TotalUGA.com is reporting that an offer has been made to Grant.

The Tuscaloosa News says Alabama is also close.

Stay tuned.

ADDITIONAL...

I just wanted to add a few thoughts... what's above is my story for the paper, and that's absolutely the extent of what I'm comfortable reporting for the paper. There are certainly a lot of other rumors out there, but I'm not comfortable enough with them to go any further than what I've written.

That said, Anthony Grant is clearly a hot commodity right now. Alabama and Georgia have interest, and I'm told Virginia at least kicked the tires. Add that to the potential vacancy at Kentucky (and the rumors there get louder every day), and there could be an all-out bidding war for someone like Grant. Will Grant be the likely candidate at UK? Probably not, but should the Cats can Gillespie and go with someone like Billy Donovan, Tom Izzo or Travis Ford, Grant could easily be a top candidate to fill the vacancy they leave behind.

So basically what I'm saying is this: Georgia probably would have liked to wait to make a move, but there's incentive to move quickly on this. On the other hand, there's incentive for Grant to hold off on a decision because the market could change quickly.

With things at Kentucky in such flux, it sort of freezes the market. Think of it like a free agent in baseball. It doesn't matter if he ever plans to sign with the Yankees, but he can only benefit if they're bidding.

3 comments:

Mike In Valdosta said...

Excellent, and scary, commentary. This is not the best of possible scenarios for UGA. Damon Evans does not bother me, the Chair/President of the Athletic Association scares the hell out of me!

Ubiquitous GA Alum said...

Is it just me or this sounding like a new reality series on A&E?

Will Grant accept UGA's advances and freeze out Bama? Does UK divorce Gillispe and seduce Donnovan? If so, does Gillispe swoop into Grant's love triangle, or will Grant go back to his first love in Gainseville?

~~Real ADs of the SEC~~

Mike In Valdosta said...

lol