On Thursday, Jamie Dixon met with his TCU Basketball players and coaches for what many anticipated would be his goodbye.
With rumors swirling about his candidacy for the open coaching position at UCLA, there has been much uncertainty as to if Dixon would be moving on from his alma mater or staying to finish the job he started three seasons ago. But, at the conclusion of the 2:00pm meeting, we still have more questions than answers, as it appears that UCLA and TCU are still negotiating Dixon’s reported eight million dollar buyout.
According to sources, Dixon told the team that he is o“still the coach at TCU”. He did not mention the possibility of leaving for the Bruins to the players, as The Star-Telegram reported that one attendee said “he didn’t say nothing about coming back or leaving.”
As many have speculated, his interest in UCLA is very real. Both his and his wife’s parents still live in Southern California, and he is intrigued by the name recognition of a program like the Bruin’s - especially after TCU was snubbed by the NCAA Tournament this year. Dixon believes that, with 11 National Championships, UCLA would have gotten the benefit of the doubt, whereas his TCU team clearly did not.
Whether he elects to stay or go may not be in his hands though, as his request to lower his buyout to $1,000,000 does not seem to be of interest to his current employer. That leaves the ball in UCLA’s court, or at least the pockets of their boosters. The Bruins, who offered John Calipari $48 million earlier this week, may instead to choose to offer Cincinnati’s Mick Cronin, who has been Plan B but would come at a substantially lower cost. Cronin himself is supposedly antsy though, as he is also rumored to be a potential replacement for Buzz a Williams at Virginia Tech.
This is a frustrating situation for all involved - especially the current and future players and coaches. Leaving the Horned Frogs hanging is a bad look, and the longer this process is drawn out, the worse it is for the program’s future - one that has been filled with hope prior to this week’s events. Jeremiah Donati has a tough task ahead, but the TCU AD has proven himself more than capable in these situations - just look at Mississippi State’s pursuit of Jim Schlossnagle a year ago.
But, for now, we wait. Hopefully we don’t have to wait for long.