However, there hasn't been any formal contact between the two, sources close to the situation said. If and when the contact comes, it will likely be several months down the road as Cincinnati isn't going to make a hire until the end of this season.
That will give Clemson administrators plenty of time to make sure Purnell doesn't leave.
Cincinnati athletic director Bob Goin is expected to name an interim coach for this season within the next few days. Stalling the hire for a new head coach is that Goin is on his way out and finding his replacement is the school's top priority.
A new athletic director is expected to be named near the beginning of 2006. Once hired, the new athletic director will then begin the search for a new basketball coach, which will likely be hired at the end of this season.
Purnell, who coached nine years at Dayton, which is roughly 40 miles north of Cincinnati, had all but two of his four-year players graduate, which is definitely appealing to brand new Cincinnati president Nancy Zimpher.
The Bearcats' basketball program under ousted coach Bob Huggins was notoriously known for having one of the poorest graduation rates in all of Division I.
Last December, Purnell signed a contract extension with Clemson that will pay him roughly $700,000 a year through the 2010-11 season. His base salary is $150,000, with another $550,000 coming from guaranteed outside income.
Others on the immediate short list at Cincinnati include Wake Forest coach Skip Prosser, who coached seven seasons at Xavier in Cincinnati, and N.C. State coach Herb Sendek, who spent three seasons as head coach at Miami of Ohio.
Purnell on Short List at Cincy
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