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The fortune Stevens turned down at Illinois

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08:23 AM ET 03.26 | Illinois has swung and missed again, this time on Butler coach Brad Stevens. Illinois was offering Stevens a lucrative contract, similar to what Virginia Commonwealth coach Shaka Smart also turned down, worth about $2.6 million annually, according to Tribune sources. The search will now focus on Ohio coach John Groce. ... Sources told the Tribune that Illinois athletic director Mike Thomas made a serious run at Stevens, with a package similar to the length of Stevens' current contract, which secures him through 2021-22, and would have substantially increased his salary. One source said the price tag was around $21 million for an eight-year contract.

Chicago Tribune

Brad Stevens, Getty Images Brad Stevens, Getty Images
March 26, 2012  08:35 AM ET

So, exactly what is so wrong with Illinois? Or is Butler that much better? Or he doesn't want to get caught up in the Major recruiting wars and would rather stay in the Mid-Major level?

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March 26, 2012  08:53 AM ET
QUOTE(#1):

So, exactly what is so wrong with Illinois? Or is Butler that much better? Or he doesn't want to get caught up in the Major recruiting wars and would rather stay in the Mid-Major level?

D,why do you have a pic of OT for your avi? lol

March 26, 2012  08:55 AM ET
QUOTE(#1):

So, exactly what is so wrong with Illinois? Or is Butler that much better? Or he doesn't want to get caught up in the Major recruiting wars and would rather stay in the Mid-Major level?

I think it is funny as hell that many of these guys are turning down jobs at schools in the holier than thou conferences! LMFAO.

March 26, 2012  09:01 AM ET
QUOTE(#5):

I think it is funny as hell that many of these guys are turning down jobs at schools in the holier than thou conferences! LMFAO.

They get to be kings of the campus at smaller schools and an easier road to the tourney. At BCS conference school they get fired for having a few bad seasons.

March 26, 2012  09:04 AM ET
QUOTE(#6):

They get to be kings of the campus at smaller schools and an easier road to the tourney. At BCS conference school they get fired for having a few bad seasons.

Except at the smaller conferences they have to win the conference tourney to get a bid instead of just finishing in the top 6,7,8...........

March 26, 2012  09:13 AM ET
QUOTE(#7):

Except at the smaller conferences they have to win the conference tourney to get a bid instead of just finishing in the top 6,7,8...........

There are more and more Mid Majors getting at larges every year. Plus it is easier to keep track of 18 yr olds in 3000 person campus vs a 30,000 person campus.

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March 26, 2012  09:20 AM ET
QUOTE(#8):

There are more and more Mid Majors getting at larges every year. Plus it is easier to keep track of 18 yr olds in 3000 person campus vs a 30,000 person campus.

The "mid majors" at large numbers go up and down each year.

I will definitely agree that it is easier to keep up with them at a 3,000 student campus as opposed to a 30,000 student campus...but you still have relatively the same number of them to keep up with...unless several of them left, got kicked off, etc.

March 26, 2012  09:24 AM ET
QUOTE(#4):

D,why do you have a pic of OT for your avi? lol

Not OT...a reflection of what some folks here think of me...

;)

March 26, 2012  09:50 AM ET
QUOTE(#1):

So, exactly what is so wrong with Illinois? Or is Butler that much better? Or he doesn't want to get caught up in the Major recruiting wars and would rather stay in the Mid-Major level?

In a sentence: it's a bad gig. You have to get into recruiting heavily in Chicago, Gary, etc., get to know kids on playgrounds, in neighborhood schools, really get into the b-b high school culture in Chi. Which is apparently what Shaka Smart didn't want to do. I would think that Brad didn't want to do that either. Then again the fan base is downstate crazed - really stupid - and further enflamed by Chicago sports talk shows (the worst in any part of the country. Ever heard of "Boers and Bernstein"? Idiots de luxe). Al they want are wins, which are not easy to get in the Big Ten. The pressure is great, the rewards are few and you're in a perpetually underachieving school in the Big Ten which really doesn't supply the means like other Big Ten schools do. Like somebody said Shaka and Brad are big, big fish is small, pleasant ponds. Illinois is a brackish backwater of a large conference where a coach can go nowhere fast. It needs someone on the order of Beckman (football coach) who wants to make it to higher level. If I were them, I'd probably go for maybe Buzz Williams, although he'd probably turn it down too. Right now, though, Illinois is getting dissed in the worst way and it's pretty much due to their dopey AD. (Keep it on the down low, Mike, you idiot. Looks really bad.)

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March 26, 2012  10:31 AM ET
QUOTE(#14):

Illinois isn't a good job because it's in Illinois.

That, of course, makes a lot of sense... details...?

March 26, 2012  10:49 AM ET
QUOTE(#14):

Illinois isn't a good job because it's in Illinois.

Well, there are a several other states I'd rather not be in than Illinois. It's not the worst.

March 26, 2012  10:59 AM ET
QUOTE(#12):

In a sentence: it's a bad gig. You have to get into recruiting heavily in Chicago, Gary, etc., get to know kids on playgrounds, in neighborhood schools, really get into the b-b high school culture in Chi. Which is apparently what Shaka Smart didn't want to do. I would think that Brad didn't want to do that either. Then again the fan base is downstate crazed - really stupid - and further enflamed by Chicago sports talk shows (the worst in any part of the country. Ever heard of "Boers and Bernstein"? Idiots de luxe). Al they want are wins, which are not easy to get in the Big Ten. The pressure is great, the rewards are few and you're in a perpetually underachieving school in the Big Ten which really doesn't supply the means like other Big Ten schools do. Like somebody said Shaka and Brad are big, big fish is small, pleasant ponds. Illinois is a brackish backwater of a large conference where a coach can go nowhere fast. It needs someone on the order of Beckman (football coach) who wants to make it to higher level. If I were them, I'd probably go for maybe Buzz Williams, although he'd probably turn it down too. Right now, though, Illinois is getting dissed in the worst way and it's pretty much due to their dopey AD. (Keep it on the down low, Mike, you idiot. Looks really bad.)

Thanks for the info....good post

March 26, 2012  11:00 AM ET
QUOTE(#17):

Well, there are a several other states I'd rather not be in than Illinois. It's not the worst.

Yep...every state has pluses and minuses. Matter of personal preference.

 
March 26, 2012  11:03 AM ET

I think it's just a matter of Stevens feeling more comfortable and more secure at Butler. Neither he, nor his program, lacks for any national media attention.

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