Georgia interviews Dominique Wilkins

ATHENS, Ga. - In what may have been a courtesy interview, Georgia officials met with former Georgia start <b>Dominique Wilkins</b> Tuesday about the school's coaching vacancy.

Senior associate athletics director Damon Evans would not speak about any specific candidates Tuesday, but he said Georgia is looking for someone with experience as a head coach or at least as an assistant coach.

Evans also said "a college degree is preferred, most definitely.''

Wilkins, 43, works as a special assistant in the Atlanta Hawks front office, but he has no coaching experience and did not complete his degree requirements at Georgia before leaving school early to begin his all-star NBA career.

Georgia might be more likely to consider Wilkins as an assistant coach, but Evans said it was premature to discuss that possibility before a new coach is hired.

The most heralded player in school history, Wilkins set a Georgia record by averaging 23.6 points per game in 1980-81. He led the team in scoring in each of his three years.

Evans and athletics director Vince Dooley have conducted two interviews this week. Former Chicago Bulls and Iowa State coach Tim Butler was in Athens Monday and is believed to have been the first candidate interviewed.

Even as Georgia officials and the NCAA continue to investigate allegations of rules violations in the basketball program, a search has started to find a replacement for Jim Harrick, who resigned last week.

Floyd, 49, reportedly has turned down an offer to become Penn State's coach. Floyd interviewed at Clemson one week ago. Evans and Dooley will be in New Orleans this weekend to interview more candidates.

Former Georgia assistant coach and player Mark Slonaker, now the head coach at Mercer, has expressed interest in a return to his alma mater.

Other possible candidates include Western Kentucky coach Dennis Felton, Tennessee-Chattanooga coach Jeff Lebo, Duke assistant Johnny Dawkins, Dayton coach Oliver Purnell and Creighton coach Dana Altman.

Another attractive candidate for any opening this year is Marquette coach Tom Crean, whose team is in the Final Four.

Lebo, a former North Carolina player, could be among the top candidates to become the Tar Heels' next coach after Matt Doherty was fired Tuesday night. Former Atlanta Hawks coach Lon Kruger said Monday he is not a candidate for the Georgia job and said he wants to remain flexible so he can watch his son play at Arizona State next season.

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