Firing Line: Knight Called UTA About Hoops Job

Sources inside the Texas Tech athletic administration and Big 12 office in Dallas confirmed to me today that after basketball coach Pat Knight was fired this morning by Texas Tech, the son of coaching legend Bob Knight placed a phone call to UT-Arlington President James D. Spaniolo to inquire about the head basketball coaching position at the school.

Boise and UTA logo

(Similarly-marked Boise exiting WAC as UTA eyeing entrance? Handy!)

If only the job was vacant.

Current UTA head basketball coach Scott Cross, a former player and assistant coach at the school, has a contract to coach the men’s basketball team through 2013 at $115,000 per season. There is no imminent UTA plan in place to terminate Cross, who is 63-63 overall after recently coaching the team to a 13-16 season. But I’ve been told that could change depending on the availability of quality candidates.

A Texas Tech athletic dept. staffer told me today that Knight, knowing his tenure at the school this season was tenuous at best, had developed an interest in the UT-Arlington job as the season progressed. No word yet if that interest was reciprocated by the UTA President Spaniolo or Athletic Director Pete Carlon.

But why on earth would Knight, freshly fired at a Big 12 school, be interested in such a seemingly low-profile job? Read more…