Earlier tonight, one of my colleagues told me that Arizona was hot on the trail of Rick Pitino. UA school officials thought he would be the perfect choice to replace outgoing legend Lute Olson--the same man, of course, who stopped Pitino from winning back-to-back NCAA titles in 1997.
Arizona was prepared to pay $2 million or more for Pitino to move to the desert.
However, in pursuit of details on that story, I stumbled across this stunner: Pitino could very well be on his way back to UK!
Earlier tonight, Pitino hosted two of Kentucky's biggest boosters. I won't divulge the names of those who attended, but I will tell you that one is huge in the banking business, the other in coal.
According to multiple sources, the boosters traveled to Louisville to persuade Pitino to come back to Lexington and try to fix the mess created by Mitch Barnhardt and Billy Gillispie.
Initially, Pitino was pushing Travis Ford for the job, but the boosters said no. They were adamant about wanting Pitino, and only Pitino. So much so, that they said he could have anything he wanted. "Name your price" was a frequent response from the boosters.
Now, don't get too excited just yet. Pitino did not accept the offer, but he didn't turn it down either. After first being reluctant to even listen to any offers, Pitino gave the boosters the impression that he would seriously consider it before ending the meeting.
And if it was up to Pitino's staff at Louisville, which includes Steve Masiello, Walter McCarty, and Richard Pitino (all with ties to Lexington), he would have said yes during the meeting. Word is that Pitino's assistants are really pushing for him to take the job.
And why wouldn't they? Besides going back to the place were Pitino reached the pinnacle of his career, it would also be much easier to win SEC titles every year as opposed to the jam-packed Big East. If the money is truly as good as I am hearing, it would be a no-brainer for Pitino to go back to UK.
However, that doesn't mean he will take the job. I wouldn't be shocked if he did, but I would be somewhat surprised. Nonetheless, I seriously doubt anything official would come out until after the NCAA Tournament anyway.
But anybody remember when Roy Williams was grilled by Bonnie Bernstein about leaving Kansas for North Carolina after losing the NCAA title game to Syracuse in 2003?
Could we witness a similar scene this year in Detroit? UK fans can only hope!