Pitt basketball coach Jamie Dixon addresses USC speculation

Chris McGrath

Once the USC job became open, you knew it was only a matter of time. According to the Post-Gazette's Ray Fittipaldo, Pitt's Jamie Dixon had this to say about the Trojans job:

“I’ve never talked about it,” Dixon said. “I guess it’s part of it. It doesn’t really affect me either way. It’s part of the game, I guess, since I’ve been here. For 14 years, I’ve been used to. It don’t talk about it or think about it. We’re just going about our business getting ready for Villanova.”

That's pretty much the answer you'd expect from Dixon. He rarely (if ever) comes out and says he has no interest in a job. He's been able to use it for leverage of getting new deals and it's hard to fault him for that.

Frankly, I'm no fan of it since you'd always rather hear your coach come right out and say they're not leaving, but whatever. It's driven me nuts in the past, but we've been through this routine enough to know that's not the way he operates. And the important thing is that he's issued similar statements before and not gone anywhere.

Dixon's MO really seems to be to never say never, and in the end, that's fine. I'd rather have that than outright deception, which is what Ben Howland resorted to before he bolted for UCLA and it's Dixon's prerogative to listen to job offers. I don't expect him to jump for USC - I've said it before, but it's worth repeating: I just don't think it's that great of a job. Great location and a major college basketball conference, but it's not on the level of Pitt if you ask me. And with Dixon's salary continuing to climb since he's been at Pitt, I don't know that they would offer him an amount that's so significantly better than Pitt's that it warrants a job change.

The other thing that I've pointed out is that, while Dixon loved the Big East, I think he'll really enjoy taking on some of the ACC heavyweights in the spotlight of all of college basketball. Games against North Carolina and Duke are as big time as you can get and that plays into Pitt's favor when it comes to keeping him around.

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