Alabama head coach Nate Oats is heading into the NCAA Tournament as the SEC regular season and Tournament champion. But would the midwest native be willing to leave Tuscaloosa to take the newly-vacant Indiana job?
Not according to Matt Norlander of CBS Sports. Norlander reported today that Oats has no desire to leave Alabama for Indiana despite recent rumors to the contrary.
Oats is less than a month removed from signing a contract extension that keeps him at Alabama through 2027. More importantly, that contract includes a $19 million buyout – one of the largest in college basketball.
But perhaps more importantly, Nate Oats has a great thing going with the Crimson Tide right now. He just led them to an SEC double, their first since 1987.
Alabama will begin the NCAA Tournament as the No. 2 seed in the East Region against No. 15 Iona on Saturday.
One name to remove from Indiana’s search already: Nate Oats.
Sources say Oats has no desire to leave Alabama for Indiana for multiple reasons, one of the obvious ones being his recently signed contract extension that includes one of the biggest buyouts in CBB at present.
— Matt Norlander (@MattNorlander) March 15, 2021
As for Indiana, they may have a tough time paying a top head coach to come to Bloomington – let alone pay one. They have to pay a whopping $10 million just to buy out newly-fired head coach Archie Miller’s contract.
They can’t even seem to entice Hoosiers legend Steve Alford away from middling Nevada to take over the role.
The likelihood that Indiana lands someone like Oats, Brad Stevens from the Boston Celtics or Chris Beard from Texas Tech seems low right now. But maybe that will change.
For all of their program’s present flaws, the Hoosiers are still one of the most iconic college basketball programs. They’ll get someone – it just won’t be Nate Oats.