Monday, March 29, 2010
Tom Izzo a Duck?
reported by Tim Twentyman / The Detroit News
The University of Oregon is planning to offer Michigan State's Tom Izzo the largest contract in college basketball, according to a television report out of Eugene, Ore.
A source from the Oregon athletic department told television station KEZI in a report Sunday night that Nike chairman Phil Knight, an Oregon alumnus, would help back the contract.
Kentucky coach John Calipari currently has the largest contract in college basketball at eight years, $31.65 million. Izzo currently makes about $2.5 million a year.
Another source in the Oregon athletic department confirmed to the station that Izzo's name is on the list of candidates provided by the search firm Spencer Stuart, but no offer or discussions between the parties have taken place.
"I haven't been contacted (by Oregon)," Izzo said Monday during a teleconference for the coaches in the Final Four. "The truth of the matter is that whenever you have success you're going to be one of 10 names that pops up on different things.
"I won't comment on it anymore because I have a job to do and I'm happy with the job I have."
The Spartans defeated Tennessee Sunday to advance to the Final Four and will face Butler in the first semifinal on Saturday in Indianapolis.
"I have great respect for Oregon and Phil and everyone out there," Izzo said on ESPN's SportsCenter on Monday morning, in quotes reported by USA Today.
Messages left with Izzo and MSU athletic director Mark Hollis by The Detroit News were not immediately returned.
Oregon athletic director Pat Kilkenny is heading the search to replace Ernie Kent, who was fired earlier this month after 13 seasons with the Ducks. Oregon was 16-16 overall and 7-11 in the Pac-10 this season, and Kent's record at his alma mater was 235-173.
Izzo was courted by the NBA's Atlanta Hawks in 2000 and reportedly was a candidate for the Kentucky job in 2007 after Tubby Smith resigned. The Wildcats hired Billy Gillispie.