(CBS) Here are the latest developments in the Shaka Smart watch:
12:35 p.m.– The Chicago Sun-Times’ Herb Gould wrote on Twitter that Shaka Smart has turned down the Illini: “#Shaka says no. Turned down at least $2.5mil from
#illini today, multiple sources tell Sun-Times.:
10:20 a.m. – CBS and Turner Sports announced Wednesday that Shaka Smart will join their Atlanta studios during their coverage of the Sweet 16 and Elite Eight this weekend. Smart will be in studio with Ernie Johnson, Steve Smith and Seth Davis Thursday, Friday and Saturday.
9:58 a.m. – When we last left you Tuesday, it appeared Shaka Smart was leaning towards turning down Illinois’ offer to become head coach of the men’s basketball team.
CBSNewYork.com’s Jon Rothstein reported that Smart would say no unless something “drastic” changed in 24 hours. 670 The Score’s Dan Bernstein immediately reported that “drastic” meant more money.
Since then we have seen conflicting reports about how much money Illinois is offering the VCU head coach. CBSSports.com’s Jeff Goodman reported Tuesday evening the offer is “in the neighborhood of $2.5 million per year” but the Chicago Tribune’s Shannon Ryan reported Illinois “has guaranteed facility renovations, a long-term contract and a salary near the top of the Big Ten.” She says the annual compensation “would be comparable” to Michigan State’s Tom Izzo, who makes more than $3 million a year.
The Tribune also offered a glimmer of hope to Illini fans by mentioning that the negotiations have been described as “progressing” by sources.
Multiple reports say Smart has concerns about recruiting in the Chicago area so that could be a sticking point.