Arkansas gets OK to talk to Tiger coach
By Dan Wolken
April 1, 2007
ATLANTA -- The University of Memphis has granted permission for Arkansas to speak with John Calipari about its vacant head basketball coaching position. But a source close to Calipari told The Commercial Appeal on Saturday night that he was not interested in the job and that there was "nothing there." Arkansas has been making overtures toward several big-name coaches this weekend as it looks to replace Stan Heath, who was fired last week.
In a phone interview Saturday night, Memphis athletic director R.C. Johnson said he received a call on Friday afternoon from Arkansas athletic director Frank Broyles asking for permission to talk to Calipari. Johnson said he granted permission but did not know whether Calipari had subsequently spoken to Arkansas officials. It was unclear whether Calipari and Broyles met in Atlanta before Broyles returned to Fayetteville on Saturday
"I'm not sure," Johnson said. "I think they have (spoken)."
Johnson said he talked to Calipari by phone on Saturday and that Arkansas did not come up.
"We talked about our program and what we were trying to do," Johnson said. "We didn't go there."
After Memphis ended its season in the Elite Eight last Saturday, Calipari said he wasn't interested in any other jobs and quickly agreed to a one-year contract extension after meeting with Johnson. Calipari was expected to sign that extension once he returned to Memphis after the Final Four.
Calipari was in the Georgia Dome on Saturday watching the national semifinal games and could not be reached for comment.