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Why Brad Stevens could come to UCLA ... and why he might not

March 27, 2013|By Chris Foster
  • Butler Coach Brad Stevens is on the minds of UCLA officials, sources say.
Butler Coach Brad Stevens is on the minds of UCLA officials, sources say. (Kevin C. Cox / Getty Images )

The symmetry has to feel right for UCLA fans … and make Butler fans cringe.

John Wooden, as a young coach, came to UCLA from Indiana. Brad Stevens, as a young coach, would be coming to UCLA from Indiana.

Make room in Pauley Pavilion for 10 more national championship banners.

But that’s a UCLA fan's fairy tale, one in which everyone lives happily ever after … except USC fans.

It’s not so simple.

Butler's Stevens is on the minds of UCLA officials, according to people close to the program who are not authorized to speak on the matter. But he is described as a ultra-private person who has a tight inner circle. So anyone claiming to have inside info on what he's thinking is tossing darts miles away from the pub.

That leaves facts — those pesky things that can ruin any Internet rumor.

Butler will join the Big East Conference next year — the good Big East, with all the basketball powers. That puts Stevens in a power conference, so who needs the Pac-12?

And yet …

Butler will join the Big East Conference next season. The school's basketball budget, reportedly $3.9 million, would be the lowest in the conference, so you’re a real boy now Pinocchio, deal with it.

Stevens makes a little more than $1 million per year. UCLA can offer more. But adjust that for the cost-of-living jolt.

A report in the Richmond Times Dispatch on Wednesday said Virginia Commonwealth officials are re-working Coach Shaka Smart’s contract. That should make Stevens a more urgent task for UCLA officials

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