After reports that Jamie Dixon was close to finalizing a deal to be the next head coach of the UCLA basketball team, further reports have confirmed that the deal is dead.
Merriam Webster defines “dead” as, “deprived of life, no longer alive.” And if you look at the first example under that definition you would see: UCLA basketball-Jamie Dixon. Not really, but you get the picture.
On Wednesday morning, it was reported by several sources that the UCLA athletic department was close to a deal with Texas Christian’s Jamie Dixon. It was said that the final hurdle was the $8 million buyout in Dixon’s contract.
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UCLA was said to be in negotiations with officials from Texas Christian to try and reduce the buyout. That was on Wednesday night.
Today, it has been announced that the deal is dead.
With both sides failing to budge on the terms of the buyout, UCLA now has to look for another candidate to lead their storied program.
It has been just under a week since John Calipari spurned UCLA for a lifetime contract with Kentucky, which originally shined an unfavorable light on the AD. This prompted the athletic department to go after Dixon.
Despite this not being perceived as a homerun hire, UCLA’s inability to bring in Dixon is not a good look. With the amount of money that they have spent on facilities and the money they were ready to throw at Calipari, $8 million does not seem like it would it be a deal-breaker, but here we are.
Though this might be a blessing in disguise, as of now it gives the appearance that UCLA is incompetent and unable to get major deals done.
UCLA now has to go back to their list of candidates and pursue other options. With many of their targets accepting jobs at other universities, the list is quickly dwindling. UCLA will most likely turn their attention back to the other targets named earlier this week: Mick Cronin, Shaka Smart, Randy Bennett, and Earl Watson.
Though it would be a stretch, UCLA could possibly go after another top target: Tony Bennett. Although, if this is the case, they will have to wait to see how he fares in this weekend’s Final Four with Virginia.