published Monday, April 21st, 2014

Louisiana Tech coach Michael White rejects UT Vols

  • photo
    Louisiana Tech head coach Michael White addresses his team at a game against UTC at McKenzie Arena in Chattanooga.
    Photo by Staff File Photo /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

KNOXVILLE — On to the next one.

Tennessee's search for a new men's basketball coach enters its seventh day needing a change of direction.

Louisiana Tech's Michael White became the focus for the Volunteers over the weekend, but the 37-year-old former Ole Miss point guard and Rebels assistant will remain with the Bulldogs for a fourth season after the two sides were unable to agree to a potential deal.

According to a CBS Sports report published early Monday afternoon, White, who is 74-31 with shares of two regular-season conference titles and two National Invitation Tournament berths in three seasons in Ruston, decided to stay at Louisiana Tech for "more long-term security" in his contract there than what "Tennessee seemed willing to provide."

A report from ESPN college basketball writer Jeff Goodman later Monday confirmed White would remain at Louisiana Tech. Goodman posted on Twitter that the buyout in the contract offer was a "stumbling block" in the negotiations and also tweeted he was "shocked" White didn't end up taking the Tennessee job.

The next step in Tennessee's search to replace Cuonzo Martin, who took the head coaching job at California a week ago today after three seasons with the Vols, could turn toward Southern Mississippi's Donnie Tyndall.

In two seasons with the Golden Eagles, the 43-year-old Michigan native is 56-17 with two NIT appearances. Southern Miss shared the Conference USA regular-season title this season with White's Bulldogs, Middle Tennessee State and Tulsa. He received a raise to $500,000 with an extension through the 2017-18 season and a buyout of $500,000 in January.

Before taking the Southern Miss job, Tyndall, a former assistant coach at LSU, Idaho and MTSU, spent six seasons at Morehead State, where he was 114-84 and took the Eagles to two NCAA tournaments. In 2011, 13th-seeded Morehead State upset fourth-seeded Louisville in the first round. Tyndall replaced Larry Eustachy in Hattiesburg a year later.

In August 2010, the NCAA placed Morehead State on probation for two years and levied sanctions, including the loss of one scholarship and other recruiting limitations, on the program for recruiting violations related to booster activity under Tyndall's watch.

Tyndall told the Jackson Clarion-Ledger last week that he was happy at Southern Miss.

"I have said in other instances that I am very humbled and proud to be the head coach at Southern Miss," he told the newspaper. "My working relationship with [athletic director] Bill McGillis, on a scale of 1 to 10, is a 10.

"When other situations arise and my name is mentioned, it is a compliment to our players, coaching staff and the success we've had here at Southern Miss."

In three seasons at Tennessee, Martin was 63-41 overall and led the Vols to the NCAA tournament's Sweet 16 this season, but the Vols' new coach must replace four starters and more than 70 percent of the scoring from Martin's final team.

Tennessee will receive $1.3 million paid in equal installments over the next 48 months from Cal for Martin's buyout.

Contact Patrick Brown at pbrown@timesfreepress.com.

about Patrick Brown...

Patrick Brown has been the University of Tennessee beat writer since January 2011. A native of Memphis, Brown graduated from UT in May of 2010 with a bachelor’s degree in Journalism/Electronic Media and worked at the Knoxville News Sentinel for two years on the sports editorial staff and as a freelance contributor. If it’s the NBA, the NFL or SEC football and basketball, he’s probably reading about it or watching it on TV. Contact him ...

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