BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – There are only two things that can be said for certain about the IU coaching search.
One is that more people are interested than are letting on.
The second is that Rick Greenspan isn't about to let anyone in on who his choice is going to be.
In recent weeks, the quantity of names that have been linked with the IU vacancy has been staggering. Gonzaga's Mark Few and Memphis' John Calipari have been the two names that have generated the most talk, but they are just two of the approximately 20 names that someone, somewhere has suggested is not only a candidate, but a favorite.
Iowa's Steve Alford, Orlando's Randy Wittman, Marquette's Tom Crean, Ohio State's Thad Matta, West Virginia's John Beilein and Texas A&M's Billy Gillispie are just a few of the names that have been kicked around as potential front-runners to replace Mike Davis during the last several weeks.
Most have issued pseudo-denials, with the most recently coming from Crean and Calipari. Crean told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel Monday there had been no contact between he and Indiana, while that same day Calipari's athletic director at Memphis, R.C. Johnson, refuted a Bloomington Herald Times article that said Indiana was in negotiations with Calipari about the position.
What's been lacking in each of those dismissals, though, is one of the rumored candidates stepping forward and saying "I'm not interested in the Indiana job." And until Crean or Calipari or Few or anyone, for that matter, utters those words, you can bet they are in fact interested in discussing – or in the process of exploring - the possibility with Greenspan.
What we've seen in recent weeks is coaches saying they haven't been contacted by IU. Of course, that might mean that their lawyer or agent or some other representative has made contact on behalf of one of the parties.
We've also heard coaches say they are happy at their current jobs. That might be, but that doesn't rule out the possibility of being even happier at a place like Indiana, where regularly competing for national championships is a very real possibility.
So until someone publicly rules out any interest in Indiana, it's safe to rule them in as a legitimate candidate.
Looking for another reason coaches have been mum on the possibility of coming to Bloomington? Look no further than Greenspan himself.
If there's one thing that will get you scratched off Greenspan's coaching short list, it's being loose-lipped. During his first major hire as IU's athletic director, Greenspan made it clear when he started the IU football coaching search that he'd keep things close to the vest, and he did just that. He eventually settled on Miami (Ohio) Coach Terry Hoeppner, a choice that didn't become public knowledge until the day of the press conference.
But not only does Greenspan keep quiet with his coaching searches, he expects the same from the coaches he deals with. Stories have circulated that he's let it be known to prospective candidates that if word gets leaked about their candidacy, Greenspan will know where the leak came from.
And it won't be from the A.D.'s department, where he's the only one who's truly in the know.
Greenspan has been out of his Assembly Hall office for the better part of a week now, presumably talking to prospective candidates about the vacancy. While they might not be willing (or allowed) to admit it, the logical front-runners continue to be Calipari, Crean and Few.
It's a very real possibility that Greenspan's path has crossed with Calipari, Crean and/or Few as he searches for the right fit for the IU program. He might be in the process of talking contract numbers and answering questions about facilities from them as well.
That might be, but rest assured you won't hear about it from either of the parties involved.
That much we know for certain.
DECKER: This Much We Know For Certain
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