Rick Barnes appears to have successfully pulled a Calipari.
Barnes has chosen to stay at Tennessee rather than leave for UCLA after the Vols gave him a new contract, according to ESPN’s Chris Low.
This tweet from the Vols and a statement from AD Phillip Fulmer says it all:
This is precisely the outcome we saw all along.
Barnes is 64 and just completed his fourth — and most successful — season at Tennessee. At his age and given what he’s building at Tennessee, leaving now wouldn’t make much sense, especially to have to start over and do it all again at UCLA. Instead, it seemed he used the position to get a raise out of Tennessee, just like Calipari did with Kentucky.
Coming off a season where he won Naismith Coach of the Year, you can’t really blame Barnes for capitalizing on the opportunity. As of earlier Monday, he reportedly was torn between Tennessee and UCLA, so the allure of the Bruins might have been genuine for the head coach.