Miller addresses rumors

Sean Miller addressed the media on Monday and took time to talk about the numerous rumors that came up this past weekend.

After a weekend in which his future with Arizona basketball came into serious question, Sean Miller met with the local media on Monday to announce his contract extension as well as reaffirm his commitment to the program. He started off his press conference with a statement regarding his decision to meet with Maryland on Saturday.

"I would love to address a number of different issues here today, and that is just if I need to, and I'll reaffirm my incredibly strong belief in the University of Arizona," Miller said. "I love being here, I think we have the greatest fans in the world, and if you ask, what this weekend was about, I think if I said to you, if you ever have in your own career, maybe to have the opportunity that at least causes you to pause and consider, I think all of us would say at one point or another, yes, and that's what this weekend was for me.

"It was an opportunity that I really felt in the best interests of our own family and myself to at least pause and consider."

After meeting with Maryland, Miller decided not to accept the job, and expressed a renewed sense of commitment to the UA.

"By doing that, it also really strengthens your belief on the place that you're at," Miller said. "I paused and considered for 40 hours in total. I know in the way college sports is today, it seems like an eternity, but that's how long it was, and nobody's happier to be a head coach at any place in the country than I am here at the University of Arizona, and if the deeper meaning of this weekend is that I'm here for the long haul, unconditionally, that's what that means I am.

"I'm excited to be here, and I believe we can do some magical things. Magical things have already happened here at one time, and what happened this year should only be a springboard to future seasons and a sign that Arizona is trying to compete for what we always have, and that is championships."

Over the weekend, it was speculated that Miller's interest in Maryland was due to a strained relationship with athletics director Greg Byrne; but he was quick to squash that notion early on in his comments.

"Greg Byrne and I have a tremendous relationship," Miller said. "We have from the moment he got here. He's been a breath of fresh air, not only for me, but I believe for the entire athletic department. I don't think there's a more hard-working, high-energy, somebody who really gets what college sports is today, than him. Him and I, our relationship is ongoing in terms of, I believe he understands who I am considering right now to hire as our assistant coach.

"I think he completely understands who is on our team and how we recruit and go about that. We've talked a lot about what we need to address moving forward. Winning a championship in 2011 is a much different landscape than it was in 2000, and it's a fluid conversation, it's ever-changing, and we have those conversations and have had ongoing conversations from the moment our season ended, and when we lost to UConn.

"It's not as if he's been missing, or we haven't talked, and all of a sudden this weekend we talked for the first time. That is absolutely the most unfair category that he or his team could be put in. The athletic department and his team, and Greg have done everything that we need to be successful and we continue to look and say, `how can we be better?'

"This weekend didn't change that in any way. This weekend wasn't about, in my mind, leverage. We've had talks all the way from the time he was hired all the way through this weekend."

Another popular rumor over Miller's interest in Maryland was his family's desire to relocate back to the east coast. In his opening remarks, Miller defended both his wife Amy and his family, but offered a perspective of his family's true beliefs on their living situation.

"There is a misconception that my wife doesn't like Tucson, or maybe my family is looking to get back East," Miller said. "I'm 42 years old; I've lived out East for 40 years. Is that something that means something to us? We have a lot of friends back there, yes, but my wife loves Tucson, Arizona. Just so you know, one of the big reasons we're here today is because of her.

"Not just when we left Cincinnati to come here, but the fact that we're here today, Monday, if I moved you from Tucson to Cincinnati after you've lived in Tucson for 40 years, there would probably be a little bit of an adjustment period, but that's to be expected. In terms of our family being happy, our three sons love it here, would be crushed to go anywhere else, don't want to move, and my wife's in the same category.

"To protect her, and I feel bad that she had to deal with any criticism that's much undeserved as well. If Greg Byrne and my wife took a hit because of me, shame on me, because that's the furthest thing from the truth. The fact that that's over with right now, and I'm looking at all of you, it's almost embarrassing. I want to coach our program, and deal with our team, and the future here is very bright."

Aside from the relationships in Miller's life playing a role in his decision to potentially leave Arizona, a third rumor surfaced about Maryland being one of Miller's dream coaching jobs in all of college basketball. To Miller however, this notion is just another rumor in a series of unfounded stories that emerged over the weekend.

"I don't have one," Miller said. "The one that I love the most is this one, and there are a number of people who would categorize this one as being their dream job, and I think I've said this throughout, that I am honored to be here, glad we made the decision 25 months ago to come here, and hoping that we can restore Coach Olson's legacy even more moving forward, and we can continue to have season like we had last year."

After addressing all of the rumors that swirled around him for the entirety of his involvement with Maryland, Miller was sure to express his apologies to any fans who were concerned by his future with the program.

"I'm sorry if I caused that, I really am," Miller said. "There's no reason to feel that way. We're here, and we're moving forward. I think what it does confirm, is the love affair that does exist between so many people and our basketball program and this university. It's one of the things that as a coach, and as a player, you feel it when you're being recruited by Arizona, you feel it when you play here, and I also think you feel it when you leave here.

"I completely understand the passion that exists, and I feel bad that I caused any heartache in my brief time, that was not my intention. And equally, it wasn't my intention to leverage Greg Byrne."

While he ultimately was considering his own future as well as that of his family, Miller was always very aware of just how great the fan base at Arizona was, and how lucky he'd be to remain the coach of the program.

"I can't be the coach on one hand, who says that we have the greatest fans in the country, and then all of a sudden on the snap of a finger, I don't care," Miller said. "I really care. It's one of the really amazing things about the University of Arizona that our fan base is rabid. They love college basketball.

"Coach Olson, what he has established here, transcends way beyond a season, way beyond a certain team. He's created a passion here that doesn't exist at very many places. I always feel that way. I felt that way this weekend, and I feel this way now. Sometimes, if you do take a moment, to consider an opportunity, it really can strengthen your resolve in the place that you're at as being perfect for you, and I will tell you that's how I feel today."

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