Oregon Ducks Interested In Michigan State’s Tom Izzo

March 30th, 2010- By Bryan Cross

Despite reports that he had been contacted by the Oregon Ducks for their head coaching vacancy, Michigan State coach Tom Izzo insists that no such talks have been conducted.

ESPN.com reported that Oregon is close to offering a deal to Izzo, which would make him the highest paid coach in college basketball.  However, Joe Giansante, who is the senior associate athletic director said that speculation is “grossly inaccurate.”

“There’s absolutely no truth to it and we’re not going to comment any further,” Giansante told the Eugene Register-Guard.

Currently, Kentucky head coach John Calipari holds the title for the richest contract in college basketball, with an eight-year $31.65 million deal.

Izzo makes $3 million per season at the helm of the Spartans, and has a contract that extends through 2016.  He just re-signed a deal back in September.  If Michigan State gets past Butler, and then goes on to win the National Championship, he will receive a $150,000 performance bonus.

“I haven’t been contacted,” Izzo said when asked of the Oregon position. “The truth of the matter, whenever you have success, you get to be one of 10 names that pop up on these lists. I haven’t been contacted, and I’m not going to comment on it again. I have a job to do, and I’m happy with the job I have.”

According to the Oregonian, Pat Kilkenny, who was a former Athletic Director for the Ducks, held a meeting with Pittsburgh coach Jamie Dixon, discussing the job opening.

Oregon fired Ernie Kent after a 13-year stint with the program, accumulating the most wins of any coach in the school’s history.  Oregon tabbed a .500 16-16 record in the Pac-10 this past season.

Mark Hollis, the Spartan athletic director said that Izzo’s name coming up in regards to coaching vacancies is nothing new.

“He has been talked about before in this way and will be again,” Hollis remarked. “We have to consider that part of the deal when you have the best college basketball coach in the country. I talk to him all the time and I know he is totally focused on winning another national championship and taking the program to a higher level.”

This is Izzo’s 15th year at Michigan State.  The Atlanta Hawks of the NBA tried to get him out of East Lansing, but were unable to do so.  His name was tossed around to lead Kansas and Kentucky as well.

The No.5 seed Spartans face fellow No.5 seed Butler in a Final Four match up, where the Spartans look to get back to the national championship game that they made a year ago.

USA Online Sportsbooks
however have installed Butler as a slight favorite to get past Michigan State.

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