Bennett commits to staying at WSU

ON THE HEELS of a news report Tuesday morning that Tony Bennett, in San Antonio at the Final Four, had been in preliminary talks over the weekend with LSU officials on their coaching vacancy, released a statement on Thursday concerning his future with Washington State.

In a statement released by the school on Tuesday afternoon, Bennett said he's staying put at Wazzu.

"I will remain as the head coach at Washington State and I look forward to building for the future," Bennett said. "I am thankful for the opportunity this University gave me to become head coach and for the continued support of President Floyd, Jim Sterk and the entire Cougar Nation. Washington State University is a special place."

A report in today's Seattle Times had said Bennett, along with several other coaching candidates, had been in preliminary talks over the weekend with LSU.

Bennett had earlier issued a statement last week that he would not pursue the Indiana position as speculation continued to grow. A few days later, Mychal Thompson, Klay Thompson's father, told CF.C that Bennett had called Klay early last week. "He said he's not going anywhere," Mychal said.

Bennett has been reported to have requested facilities upgrades, air travel improvements and salary bumps for assistant coaches since leading the Cougs to their second NCAA tournament berth in as many years in order to better compete in the Pac-10. Bennett signed a new 7-year deal last year after leading to a No. 3 seeding in last year's NCAA tourney.

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