LISTEN: Paul Finebaum explains why he thinks Rick Barnes' flirtation with UCLA is a sign of trouble at Tennessee
The Tennessee Volunteers almost lost coach Rick Barnes to UCLA last week, but apparently, UCLA wouldn’t pay Barnes’ $5 million buyout.
On Tuesday, Barnes gave an insightful and honest interview, saying he’d probably be at UCLA right now if the buyout had worked out differently.
SEC Network host Paul Finebaum applauded Barnes’ honesty, but during his show on Tuesday, he said it seems like something is wrong at Tennessee:
My thoughts on Rick Barnes:
Something is wrong at Tennessee and there's a reason he considered leaving.
My full comments about it with "Mike in Macon GA" on the show: pic.twitter.com/O4Ji1zxq7g
— Paul Finebaum (@finebaum) April 16, 2019
“Give Rick Barnes credit — he was honest. But I wonder what and how he really feels about Tennessee,” he said. “Something’s wrong there, in my opinion. He wouldn’t have said that otherwise. He was basically saying, ‘Listen, I was leaving.’ It’s like you’re married and you flirt with leaving your wife or husband, and in the end, that person doesn’t really want you, so you go back and you admit, ‘I would have been gone, but we couldn’t quite pull this off.’ It’s a bad statement to make, and I don’t know how it’s going to play in Tennessee. It makes it look like you really wanted to leave. And if he wanted to leave, why did he want to leave?”
Will Barnes stay at Tennessee for the rest of his career? That’s unclear at this point, but it seems he really did come close to leaving.