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Did Rick Barnes Hurt Or Help His Tennessee Legacy?

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Yesterday’s saga produced an intense day of suspense for UT fans.

NCAA Basketball: NCAA Tournament-South Regional-Purdue vs Tennessee
Can you really blame Barnes for showing interest in the UCLA job?
Thomas J. Russo-USA TODAY Sports

How we feelin’ today Vol fans?

If you’re still on edge after Monday’s will-he-or-won’t-he scenario involving Rick Barnes and the UCLA Bruins, I don’t blame you. Fans and pundits alike were all shocked when the news broke that both sides had mutual interest.

It came out of nowhere and it had legs for a good portion of the day.

UCLA reportedly gave Barnes an offer of $5 million per year and he seemed on board until a counteroffer from the Vols gave him more to consider.

It wasn’t about the money. It was more about an opportunity for Barnes to restore one of college basketball’s most storied programs to relevance - and possibly more.

You can’t really blame the man for showing interest in the job. I mean, what coach wouldn’t? Coaching the Bruins would’ve been a dream scenario for Barnes.

He eventually decided to stay at Tennessee, making his decision known Monday evening.

But did the events that nearly led to more Volunteer misery help or hurt Barnes’ legacy at UT?

An argument could be made for both sides. In one corner, you have the shock and disbelief that he nearly left Knoxville. In the other, you have the applause and support for a coach that made it known that Tennessee basketball is at the top of his list of professional priorities.

It’s common for coaches to want to return - or introduce - programs to glory, there’s no shame in that.

However, there’s not much blame to be passed around for the fans who were upset about the development, either. This program has been through numerous coaching changes and fits of dysfunction over the years that yes, if Barnes were to leave, it would spark up yet another journey in the unknown of what we call a coaching search.

Barnes brings stability, solidity, and success anywhere he goes. Tennessee athletics have not had those three qualities - outside of the softball program - in a consistent capacity in a long time. With Barnes, the men’s basketball program finally had those three qualities and there’s little doubt that his vacancy would’ve pushed the men’s basketball program outside of that boundary.

But will there be any lingering effects from Monday’s diegesis?

How do you feel about everything that happened? Let us know in the comments below!

Poll

Did Rick Barnes hurt or help his UT legacy on Monday?

This poll is closed

  • 24%
    Help
    (132 votes)
  • 12%
    Hurt
    (65 votes)
  • 62%
    Eh, don’t really think it matters
    (335 votes)
532 votes total Vote Now