If you blinked today, you might have missed this story.
Pitt beat writer Craig Meyer reported earlier today that Pitt AD Heather Lyke and Sean Miller had discussed the open Pitt job, and that Miller had interest in the job.
This had been heavily rumored the last week or so, with the narrative being that Miller wanted the job, but there was a hold up on Pitt’s end on if the risk of Miller was worth it considering the current FBI investigation in college basketball. Heather Lyke has both a background in compliance as well as a law degree. If anybody would be able to determine if Miller’s situation was worth looking past, it would be her.
It’s pretty clear that local Pitt boosters have been pushing the Pitt administration hard to take a look at Sean Miller, but it seemed Pitt’s main priority was still Dan Hurley, and the news that did manage to get out seemed to back that up.
However, a few minutes after that Craig Meyer’s report came out, Sean Miller released a statement:
From #APlayersProgram head coach Sean Miller:— Arizona Basketball (@APlayersProgram) March 21, 2018
“I am not a candidate for the University of Pittsburgh men’s basketball head coaching vacancy. I wish them well in their search for a new coach.”
You’ll notice this statement is a heck of a lot shorter and less direct than the one he issued two years ago:
“I have a tremendous amount of respect and admiration for the University and city of Pittsburgh. My memories and friendships of my time as a student athlete are the best and strongest of my lifetime. However, I have one of the great jobs in college basketball at Arizona. I have no interest in becoming the head coach at Pitt. I wish them luck in replacing Jamie Dixon, a tremendous coach and person, who did an incredible job in his time there. – Sean Miller”
You’ll also notice that Sean Miller’s statement does not refute any of what Craig reported. Considering how much has changed in two years for Sean Miller, it’s not surprising. We’ll never know for sure if Pitt or Sean was the one to say “Yeah, no thanks”, but some suggest it may have been Pitt’s decision.
Pittsburgh AD Heather Lyke could not hire Sean Miller — not with all the uncertainty. Major compliance background. Miller releases statement he is not a candidate at his alma mater.— Jeff Goodman (@GoodmanESPN) March 21, 2018
I’m not going to get into whether Pitt should have hired Sean Miller or not if they had the chance, because frankly it doesn’t really matter at this point. Pitt’s #1 candidate this entire time has been Dan Hurley, and until he issues a statement of what his intentions are, it’ll stay that way.
If Hurley were to say no, you’d hope that reported $3+ million offer would attract other coaches because that’s a hell of a lot of money that a lot of GREAT coaches at other schools aren’t even close to making.
Pitt coaching searches are never ever boring.