"Frank is looking for a way out of Missouri," one source said. "This might be it."
Haith just finished his third season at Missouri by missing the NCAA Tournament with a team talented enough to make it, and Mizzou fans have undeniably turned on him because of underachieving on the court and problems off of the court -- most recently the arrest and dismissal of Louisville transfer Zach Price. Sources told CBSSports.com that Tulsa is willing to pay in excess of $1 million for Haith, and that he's seriously considering going because he knows one more bad season at Missouri could be his last.
I mean ... that logic isn't exactly unsound. I've made it pretty clear over the last year or so that I don't think he's done as poor a job as Mizzou fans tend to think, but if he doesn't feel he can right the ship in Columbia, then he certainly needs to leave. And if he thinks he only has another year to do it and isn't sure how next season's roster is taking shape, then this is a perfect out.
Since this would be the worst leverage move of all-time -- "Hey, Mr. Alden, Tulsa's offering me their job, so I need a raise to stay." -- one has to assume that this is a real thing, not an agents-jockeying-for-more-money thing. And honestly, I'm cool with it. If he doesn't think he's the man for this job, he needs to leave. If he's ready to fight to turn the program around, he should stay and give it a shot.
(And if he stays, and the angry portion of the Mizzou fanbase just got trolled, that's going to be pretty fun, too.)
Weirdest. Month. Ever.
UPDATE #1: SOURCES!
Haith is described by the source as "a very solid front-runner" and is expected to be offered an opportunity to succeed Danny Manning as the Golden Hurricane coach. It is expected that Haith will meet today with TU President Steadman Upham and athletic director Derrick Gragg.
UPDATE #2: IN-PERSON SOURCES!
Really, though, you can't go to Tulsa to "listen" without taking the job at this point. A good portion of the Mizzou fanbase that hasn't turned on Haith would turn on him pretty quickly.
UPDATE #3: This is happening. (SOURCES.)
Missouri's Frank Haith has reached verbal agreement to become the head coach at Tulsa, source told ESPN. Haith is en route to Tulsa now.— Jeff Goodman (@GoodmanESPN) April 17, 2014