Are we just pessimistic? Our 50/50 feeling this morning is starting to slide the bad direction.
We think that State has the ability to go to $2.0 million per year for Calipari despite, which is higher than Memphis’ best offer of $1.5 million to $1.7 million.
We won’t spend time crunching the negative side of the equation until we have to. So, please don’t run off thinking that we have inside scoop that we aren’t getting Calipari. We don’t have that scoop.
We do know that Memphis is working hard to keep him. Of course, we are concerned with the fact that he is currently sitting in Memphis around his family, his friends, and his team while we are all sitting in Raleigh. That is not a great bargaining position in which to be sitting.
The good news is that at this time (3:30pm ET), Memphis does not yet have an answer from Calipari, either.
Dave Glenn has updated his blog and is reporting that Calipari is currently meeting with the Athletics Director and key boosters (3;45 ET). A few thoughts:
* If he Calipari telling them Memphis that he is taking NC State’s job, then the wheels will be in motion, team meetings will be called, and the news should flush out quickly.
* If he is discussing Memphis’ proposed deal and not providing an answer to anyone, then we doubt that anyone gets an answer before tomorrow.
* If he is telling Memphis that he is staying, we don’t know if NC State will sweeten the pot or if it will matter (since Calipari has maintained from the start of his overtures to NC State that this wasn’t about money).
Let’s just say that NC State officials are…we’ll use the word “antsy”.
In the end, this will all boil down to how truthful Calipari has been with NC State from the beginning. If the pieces of the puzzle that he represented as most important to him (ACC’s stage, competitiveness on the national stage, University’s commitment to him) are truly the drivers of the decision, then there is nothing that Memphis can do about the situation.
If those issues are not the key drivers of his thought process, then this was all about money and NC State was played masterfully by a maestro.
We will find out in the next 24 hours, but we urge everyone not to jump to the negative conclusion until the news is official. Please behave the way that you did as the Rick Barnes talks dissolved.