Bud Withers in the Seattle Times clarifies those conversations that Tony had with the recruits. Withers is quick to point out, however, that this was before the Marquette job opened.
So let’s try to sum up the Tony Bennett rumor situation in one sentence. Tony has said no to Indiana, will most likely return to Pullman, but has not specifically addressed any other job openings. There, I did it.
Meanwhile it looks like LSU is going to take a hard look at UMass’ Travis Ford. I still think Anthony Grant should be their guy.
Update (12:40) – Grippi is reporting LSU plans to interview a Pac-10 coach in San Antonio. This basically means either Tim Floyd or Bennett, as no one else has been linked to the list of candidates (although if I were LSU I’d take a look at Sendek). Floyd because he may have already been contacted by LSU, but then again he also told the OC Register USC is his “last job”. So there’s a chance it’s Bennett. Then again, it may not be an “interview” as much as a “gauge your interest” kind of talk. Who the heck knows. Get Andy Katz on the phone post-haste. (By the way, I hear from a reliable source Katz is interested in a FSN job)
If you follow these rumors closely, and I don’t know why the heck I am, you’ll have noticed it’s been back and forth from the start. One day Tony is “expecting to leave”, the next day he turns down Indiana. One day he’s going to Cal, then Marquette, then LSU, then Wisconsin-Green Bay, depending on the source. I’m getting tired of it all. We need what I’m calling the “exhale statement”. In other words, a press conference with Tony saying “I’m not going anywhere” – then listing specifically the 500 schools that are pursuing him and taking his name out of the running.