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MARCH MADNESS / NCAA TOURNAMENT | FRIDAY / NOTES

Tennessee Coach Green Resigns After Four Seasons

March 21, 2001

Tennessee Coach Jerry Green resigned Tuesday after a 22-11 season and a fourth consecutive trip to the NCAA tournament.

The announcement was made by Athletic Director Doug Dickey.

Green, who replaced Kevin O'Neill as coach in 1997, did not attend the news conference in Knoxville, Tenn., but issued a statement.

"This ends an emotional time for me because I have never before left where I felt that my work was incomplete," he said. "Even though I feel optimistic about the prospects for next season, I believe that in the best interests of myself and the university, it is time for a change."

Green's contract, which paid him $545,000 annually, was set to expire March 31, 2005. His package included apparel endorsements and radio and television appearances.

Tennessee negotiated a $1.1-million buyout over five years: a $100,000 payment on March 31, then annual payments of $200,000 through 2006.

Green, 57, was 89-36 in four seasons, and the Volunteers won at least 20 games each season.

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Kevin Bannon was fired as Rutgers coach after failing to lead the team to the NCAA tournament in his four years. . . . Towson fired Coach Mike Jaskulski with one year remaining on his contract. Jaskulski led the Tigers to a 37-76 record over four years. His teams were 25-54 in America East Conference play. . . . Southern reassigned Coach Tommy Green. . . . Towson fired Coach Mike Jaskulski. . . . Idaho hired Leonard Perry, an assistant at Iowa State the past three season, as coach.

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Iona College gave Coach Jeff Ruland an eight-year contract extension after taking the Gaels to consecutive NCAA tournament appearances.

Ruland's extension runs through the 2008-09 season. Financial terms weren't disclosed, although the Journal News of White Plains, N.Y., reported that Ruland was asking for an annual salary of between $250,000 and $300,000.

Ruland, 42, had reportedly become a target of several higher-profile programs with coaching vacancies, including La Salle and Rhode Island, both in the Atlantic 10 Conference.

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The much-wooed Rick Majerus is the man Wisconsin wants as its coach.

School officials hope the Utah coach will be more interested in a job in his home state than he has been when offered other high-profile jobs.

"Rick is in the first category of people we want to talk to," Athletic Director Pat Richter said. "I would like to talk to him in the next couple of days. I'd like to set up something face-to-face by the first part of next week."

Majerus told WTMJ Radio in Milwaukee, where he has been caring for his ill mother, that he plans to speak with Richter but his mind isn't on his future.

"I think it's a good job. Obviously, Wisconsin's a great place to live and I probably will have a conversation with Pat, but right now the most immediate and pressing concern I have . . . is to get together with my mother and to consult with her physicians," Majerus said.

"I couldn't say much more beyond that. I usually don't comment on jobs."

Richter is looking to replace Brad Soderberg, who went 16-10 after taking over for Dick Bennett three games into the season. Richter told Soderberg on Monday that he wouldn't be retained.

Soderberg said Tuesday he believed Richter was making a mistake by veering from the system that had produced four NCAA tournament berths in five years, one more than the school had before Bennett and Soderberg arrived in 1995.

But Soderberg added: "If he's able to get Majerus here, then he's making the right decision."

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Texas Tech faculty who oppose Bob Knight don't expect much support from their colleagues at a meeting today to discuss a new coach.

About 85 of Texas Tech's 900 faculty members signed a petition last week criticizing Knight's past behavior and advising against hiring him, but some see it as a done deal.

Knight, who could be hired as soon as Friday, will be the subject of a faculty senate meeting at which President David Schmidly is expected to speak.

"There was always a hope--not a very large one--that this would head this off," said geography professor Gary Elbow, a Knight opponent.

"I still do feel like the university is taking a rather sizable risk in hiring Bobby Knight, but they are entitled to hire whoever they want. We have raised the flag, and that's all we could do."

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The NCAA is prepared to release its decision on whether the University of Buffalo team violated recruiting guidelines under former coach Tim Cohane. Jack Friedenthal, chairman of the NCAA's infractions committee, is scheduled to announce his findings and whether sanctions will be taken against the school during a telephone conference call today. . . . America West Arena in Phoenix will be the site of the West Regional of the men's NCAA tournament in 2004.

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