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Coaching Carousel Picks Up Steam!

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The coaching carousel is spinning faster. Sean Sutton has been forced out at Oklahoma State. According to one report, tycoon T. Boone Pickens is ready to spend big bucks to hire a name coach. If so, it could radically ramp up salaries for the top tier coaches. More on that later.

Indiana has hired Tom Creane away from Marquette, which of course opens up the Marquette job for somebody. They also permanently dismissed two players and Eric Gordon will announce his decision about leaving for the NBA on Monday.

Kent State promoted an assistant to take over their coaching position.

In Arizona, Kevin O' Neill's insistence that he would stay and be the next coach once Lute Olson retired - that's over. He's no longer on the staff.

It might be the first time in years that Olson has faced a hostile local press as reporters dug in to get details and information about his leave of absence and his future.

Olson said that part of his problem was anxiety, apparently over his divorce, and that his A.D. told him not to talk to the media. Beyond that, he refused to discuss his leave. He got into it with reporters, even mistakenly accusing one of spreading rumors that he was in rehab, according to the Tucson Citizen. He told Greg Hansen that he wouldn't be speaking to him anymore, which, frankly, is a wise decision. We've talked before about Hansen's suspension when the Arizona-UNLV rivalry was canceled in the light of death threats, which came about after some quotes in a Hansen column which Citizen columnist Corky Calhoun said were not accurate.

Back to Oklahoma State. There allegations recently that the OSU would fire Sutton and, with Pickens providing the money, go after a big-name coach. One prominent name is Bill Self of Kansas, an OSU alum.

Eddie Sutton, who had the floor named after him, is probably not very happy, and Sean probably isn't thrilled either.

Neither is Self. Self is busy prepping for UNC, and KU fans, who have spent five years hating Ol' Roy Williams, are understandably nervous that they might get screwed again.

It's a lot of chaos for Kansas at precisely the wrong time. Self says he isn't interested, but promise, say, to double someone's salary, and they might get interested.

LSU is still looking too, of course, and they are looking for an A.D. at the same time. They'd obviously like to have an A.D. first, and one of their finalists is Joe Alleva. Been a rough year down there - not only did they can their coach and have an A.D. who is retiring, they also fired their Chancellor, which slowed down their A.D. search. You'd have to say this entire situation has been poorly handled.

Western Kentucky, who just lost their coach to South Carolina, is shopping as well, and San Diego's Bill Grier is talking to Oregon.