So it appears that today will be another crazy day in Internet land, as Missouri fans try to figure out if their basketball future is as secure as their coach said it was a few days ago, or if they're going to be looking for their fourth coach in 40+ years soon.
What do we know at this point? Not a lot.
1. Thursday night, Mike Anderson reiterated to local reporters the Arkansas rumors were ridiculous. (Again, Roy Williams said the same thing about North Carolina in 2003.)
2. Mike Anderson was out recruiting for Mizzou (one has to think) yesterday, first at Mizzou Arena to watch Otto Porter, then in Kansas to watch the national JUCO tournament.
That "sources close to the Arkansas program" have been telling reporters (mostly from Oklahoma, strangely enough) that Anderson is a done deal for days seems to stand in contrast with the one semi-fact we have in our hands from the time period after Thursday night. But we don't have records of incoming and outgoing calls to Anderson's cell phone, and nobody's logged on to FlightAware.com (somehow) to try to find out if some plane from Fayetteville flew to Hutchinson, KC, for a late-night meeting last night. So anything anybody thinks they know at this point stems from the reliability of "sources close to the Arkansas program.*"
*I officially know one Arkansas alum, and she is one of my favorite people in the world, so it almost makes me feel guilty that, when seeing/hearing the phrase "a source close to the Arkansas program," I immediately think of the Buddy Garrity-style, no-nothing-but-convince-people-you're-important individual who is happy to tell reporters that whatever he wants to happen is about to happen. For all I know, these "sources" are rock solid, but my eyes glaze over every time I read that phrase, and I go out of my way not to believe a single word they are passing to reporters. (That they are passing along news that I don't like aids me in this attempt.)
Whether "reports" from "sources" are correct or not, we will probably know soon. I'm less optimistic now than I was two days ago, but we'll see what happens. So ... ALL-DAY LIVE THREAD!!
(This ordeal, by the way, has made me dislike sports journalism even more. Now, if Anderson does indeed go to Arkansas, somebody who passed along a 1% solid rumor three days ago -- reporting what he had and crossing his fingers that he ends up correct -- can claim that he knew what was going on all long.)
Oh yeah, and there are some games on.
11:15 AM CT - East: No. 2 North Carolina vs No. 7 Washington (CBS)
1:45 PM CT - West: No. 1 Duke vs No. 8 Michigan (CBS)
4:15 PM CT - East: No. 1 Ohio State vs No. 8 George Mason (CBS)
5:10 PM CT - West: No. 4 Texas vs No. 5 Arizona (TNT)
6:10 PM CT - Southwest: No. 3 Purdue vs No. 11 VCU (TBS)
6:45 PM CT - East: No. 3 Syracuse vs No. 11 Marquette (TruTV)
7:40 PM CT - Southwest: No. 1 Kansas vs No. 9 Illinois (TNT)
8:40 PM CT - Southwest: No. 2 Notre Dame vs No. 10 Florida State (TBS)
After the jump, we'll document any newsworthy comments that come about as the day progresses.
Steve Walentik tells us what he knows and doesn’t know. And yes, know that that’s a Trib link before you click on it.
a) He doesn’t really know much (nobody does).
b) He verifies that Anderson was out recruiting yesterday.
c) He points out a clause in Anderson’s contract that MA must “request written permission of Missouri Athletic Director Mike Alden and Chancellor Brady Deaton before interviewing for another job opening”.
d) He also points out that Jimmy Sexton could be doing all the talking, and it wouldn’t violate the contract.
And as Gabe pointed out at PM, what happens if he does breach the contract? Mizzou forces him to remain at Mizzou? (That would work out swimmingly.) They sue? Without knowing the recourse, it’s hard to know how seriously to take that clause.
Though if Mizzou were to sue Arkansas somehow, that would be awesome … especially when Mizzou ends up in the SEC after the next wave of MIZZOUEXPANSIONAPALOOZA™. I mean … what? I said nothing.
Gabe Dearmond on Twitter:
Source says Anderson told top recruit Otto Porter last night that Anderson would be at #Mizzou next year.
[S]hortly after 10 a.m. I spoke with a parent of one of the current Missouri players who told me he believes Anderson is leaving.
"I heard Friday that he was leaving," that parent told me. "But I haven’t heard anything official.
"The last time (involving talks with Oregon) you heard he was leaving and then he didn’t. But this time seems a little different."
Moments later, PowerMizzou.com – which is the Rivals.com site run by (in the interest of full disclosure) my son Gabe – posted that a member of the Arkansas media had just told him that MU recruit Otto Porter said Anderson assured him on Saturday that he would be returning to Mizzou.
The truth is, we do not know what the truth is at this point.
On Saturday night, two members of the Missouri basketball team gave me the same answer to my questions about Anderson’s status. As one e-mailed me:
"He said we would hear from him first if anything happens. I’ll let u know if I hear anything. He’s in Hutchinson, KS now with wat and tj."
This is noteworthy if for no other reason than the "He said we would hear from him first if anything happens" quote. That suggests, um, that there's at least a possibility that something might happen, no?
Welcome to Jimmy Sexton's World.
Sports By Brooks isn’t reputable for much beyond OMG BOOBS, but there’s this:Sexton driving bus on M. Anderson rumors. Alden will not go above $2M. No matter how much Sexton leaks to create panic.
Just because there hasn't been an update in a while (other than the fact that it's looking more and more like this is another Jimmy Sexton play) ... DON CHERRY!
Former Razorback basketball coach Nolan Richardson says he doesn’t know if Missouri coach Mike Anderson is negotiating with Arkansas with regard to the Razorbacks’ vacant head coaching position. But Richardson says Anderson will likely be occupied for the next couple of days dealing with the death of a close personal friend.
Other sources told 5News on Sunday that Anderson’s agent had begun talks with Arkansas athletic director Jeff Long. The sources said Long had offered Anderson a five year deal at two million dollars annually and is holding firm to that offer even though the agent, Jimmy Sexton, is asking for a longer contract and a higher amount of annual compensation.
Here's a retweet by Gabe DeArmond, originally posted by Dudley E. Dawson:
HI’s sources say the reports of a 5-year, $2 million offer to Mike Anderson – and a short time to mull it – are not true.