Cuonzo Martin says 'never anything' to leaving for Illinois

Coach shoots down reports of Illinois interest

Cuonzo Martin said Wednesday he has no immediate plans to leave his position as Tennessee's men's basketball coach for another job even though he is working without a formal contract.

Martin continues to work under the Memorandum of Understanding that was signed when he took the job on March 27, 2011. The five-year agreement is worth $1.3 million annually.

Late Tuesday night, Martin was linked to the vacant opening at Illinois by the Comcast SportsNet Chicago website.

"We're building something special here,'' said Martin,who was Missouri State's coach for three seasons. "I enjoy my job at Tennessee, and I'm looking forward to bigger things next season.''

Martin's contract is being worked on and is expected to be finished within the next two weeks, according to an e-mail the News Sentinel received on Wednesday from Charles Primm of UT's Media and Internal Relations.

CSNchicago.com cited unidentified sources at Illinois and those close to Martin saying he would be "very interested" in the Illini opening.

Martin vehemently disputes the website's report.

"There was never anything to it,'' said Martin, who was recruited by Illinois coming out of Lincoln High School in East St. Louis, Ill.

Martin led the Vols to a 19-15 record and a second-round NIT appearance this season, which according to his MOU, earned him a $25,000 bonus.

Should Martin choose to leave UT within the first three years of his contract, he would owe the school two times his annual compensation ($2.6 million total). His buyout in years four and five calls for the equivalent of his annual compensation.

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Comments » 18

givehim6 writes:

This is more news worthy then the BP story. Think KNS was just trying to get fans talking about the BP thing.

Rich_Is_Re-born writes:

in response to givehim6:

This is more news worthy then the BP story. Think KNS was just trying to get fans talking about the BP thing.

Actually I think the Pearl story is a pretty big deal. 1)we still have fans who thinks he should be our coach. 2) these are pretty major allegations, more serious than a BBQ. You can't try to get a kid to transfer when he's enrolled at another school and under scholarship.

On the other hand, this very article is already on this site and has 169 posts in the thread.

rockytop311 writes:

wasn't pearl also working without a contract under this "memorandum of understanding" and his contract was also "being worked on and should be done within the next couple weeks"? One year and outta here. We've become a stepping stone.

volthrunthru#658770 writes:

Martin has some nerve. He had a team that collapsed in the key games...gave up...quit...and were the subject of ridiculing comments by the national play-by-play announcing team...

his coaches cannot keep the team in focus when it travels...

neither he nor his coaches can tell that Golden is injured, so they leave him in, despite Golden's limping and walking slowly...
and MTSU runs the rest of their offense over Golden...

and he buys into the con-job Hall was running in a meeting w/him, by asking "what to I have to do, Coach, to become a great player," then less than 90 days later Hall is suspended for what turns out to be the remainder of the season for "violation of team rules"...

and yet GonzoQuonzo, is working for almost twice what he made last year...

yet he has the unmitigated gall to even TALK with Illinois about leaving...

when his team peed in the fans' soup...and he has the best job he ever has...makes 1.3MM DOLLARS, has cars, memberships, travel, endorsements, free this, no-charge that, and his family has some of the best living in the United States---

and, yes, I am very aware that he has been through tough times...multiple doses of them...

so when somebody takes him from directional-mo-tech to the potential big-time...

admittedly an athletics director whose decisions on personnel have blown up time after time after time...

this Head Coach has the unmitigated gall to even TALK with somebody about LEAVING????????

You gotta be kidding.

From now on, when he talks watch his feet, because he was talking how much he liked this place, yet had contact with somebody Illinois, and now says there was "never" anything to it...

watch is feet as you read his lips.

Go Vols...

mocsandvolsfan writes:

We all know he may leave. But I choose to believe he'll stay like he indicated. However he may have less stress from the Illinois' fake fans. UT's FAKE fans are some of the most critical in the world. Surely though Martin doesn't read these stupid posts from the FAKE fanmania of KNS.

That said KNS I DO love this site. NOT for the Fakes' though but for the articles and the few great posts I can find. there are some true loyal fans on here that are for the Vols thru thick and thin. Most of these loyal fans I would guess DO NOT visit other sites to dump on other teams', players, and coaches(this site even dumps on the university and Athletic Directors)...don't know really. I certainly don't even have the time to check.

knelson55 writes:

I encourage you to leave. I have no doubt there were an additional 2 games BP would not have lost. In addition under BP our teams were much better conditioned.

johnlg00 writes:

in response to volthrunthru#658770:

Martin has some nerve. He had a team that collapsed in the key games...gave up...quit...and were the subject of ridiculing comments by the national play-by-play announcing team...

his coaches cannot keep the team in focus when it travels...

neither he nor his coaches can tell that Golden is injured, so they leave him in, despite Golden's limping and walking slowly...
and MTSU runs the rest of their offense over Golden...

and he buys into the con-job Hall was running in a meeting w/him, by asking "what to I have to do, Coach, to become a great player," then less than 90 days later Hall is suspended for what turns out to be the remainder of the season for "violation of team rules"...

and yet GonzoQuonzo, is working for almost twice what he made last year...

yet he has the unmitigated gall to even TALK with Illinois about leaving...

when his team peed in the fans' soup...and he has the best job he ever has...makes 1.3MM DOLLARS, has cars, memberships, travel, endorsements, free this, no-charge that, and his family has some of the best living in the United States---

and, yes, I am very aware that he has been through tough times...multiple doses of them...

so when somebody takes him from directional-mo-tech to the potential big-time...

admittedly an athletics director whose decisions on personnel have blown up time after time after time...

this Head Coach has the unmitigated gall to even TALK with somebody about LEAVING????????

You gotta be kidding.

From now on, when he talks watch his feet, because he was talking how much he liked this place, yet had contact with somebody Illinois, and now says there was "never" anything to it...

watch is feet as you read his lips.

Go Vols...

So many wasted pixels; so little content.

BigBadVol writes:

in response to johnlg00:

So many wasted pixels; so little content.

Isn't that the truth John!

decades_vol (Inactive) writes:

in response to volthrunthru#658770:

Martin has some nerve. He had a team that collapsed in the key games...gave up...quit...and were the subject of ridiculing comments by the national play-by-play announcing team...

his coaches cannot keep the team in focus when it travels...

neither he nor his coaches can tell that Golden is injured, so they leave him in, despite Golden's limping and walking slowly...
and MTSU runs the rest of their offense over Golden...

and he buys into the con-job Hall was running in a meeting w/him, by asking "what to I have to do, Coach, to become a great player," then less than 90 days later Hall is suspended for what turns out to be the remainder of the season for "violation of team rules"...

and yet GonzoQuonzo, is working for almost twice what he made last year...

yet he has the unmitigated gall to even TALK with Illinois about leaving...

when his team peed in the fans' soup...and he has the best job he ever has...makes 1.3MM DOLLARS, has cars, memberships, travel, endorsements, free this, no-charge that, and his family has some of the best living in the United States---

and, yes, I am very aware that he has been through tough times...multiple doses of them...

so when somebody takes him from directional-mo-tech to the potential big-time...

admittedly an athletics director whose decisions on personnel have blown up time after time after time...

this Head Coach has the unmitigated gall to even TALK with somebody about LEAVING????????

You gotta be kidding.

From now on, when he talks watch his feet, because he was talking how much he liked this place, yet had contact with somebody Illinois, and now says there was "never" anything to it...

watch is feet as you read his lips.

Go Vols...

I think you have been associating with folks who continue to make poor choices, as in conducting clandestine operations which call for a specific chemical mix. A little too much crystal pistol, methinks? Too much blithering commentary for anyone claiming to be at the top of their game. Quit, please, for the sake of everyone, including yourself.

AllforTenn writes:

in response to volthrunthru#658770:

Martin has some nerve. He had a team that collapsed in the key games...gave up...quit...and were the subject of ridiculing comments by the national play-by-play announcing team...

his coaches cannot keep the team in focus when it travels...

neither he nor his coaches can tell that Golden is injured, so they leave him in, despite Golden's limping and walking slowly...
and MTSU runs the rest of their offense over Golden...

and he buys into the con-job Hall was running in a meeting w/him, by asking "what to I have to do, Coach, to become a great player," then less than 90 days later Hall is suspended for what turns out to be the remainder of the season for "violation of team rules"...

and yet GonzoQuonzo, is working for almost twice what he made last year...

yet he has the unmitigated gall to even TALK with Illinois about leaving...

when his team peed in the fans' soup...and he has the best job he ever has...makes 1.3MM DOLLARS, has cars, memberships, travel, endorsements, free this, no-charge that, and his family has some of the best living in the United States---

and, yes, I am very aware that he has been through tough times...multiple doses of them...

so when somebody takes him from directional-mo-tech to the potential big-time...

admittedly an athletics director whose decisions on personnel have blown up time after time after time...

this Head Coach has the unmitigated gall to even TALK with somebody about LEAVING????????

You gotta be kidding.

From now on, when he talks watch his feet, because he was talking how much he liked this place, yet had contact with somebody Illinois, and now says there was "never" anything to it...

watch is feet as you read his lips.

Go Vols...

Speaking of unmitigated gall: Gall is oozing out of your post.

mocsandvolsfan writes:

KNS...Way too much on the troll visits. Stop it. It's boring. Leave gossip alone and talk about our team next year. Or something to actually be about the sport itself. If Martin decides to leave and tells us now that would actually be news. This article is just speculation and drivel. YES I MEANT DRIVEL!hehe.

mocsandvolsfan writes:

in response to johnlg00:

So many wasted pixels; so little content.

OK John. I'm with you. BUT do you mean the article or this guy's silly post?

johnlg00 writes:

in response to mocsandvolsfan:

OK John. I'm with you. BUT do you mean the article or this guy's silly post?

Considering that the essential content of the article was, "Somebody claims to have heard somebody say that somebody 'close to Martin and Illinois' said that there was some kind of 'contact' regarding the Illinois job", I consider the article to be new-age journalistic bloggery with no hint of credibility. As for that post, that guy seemed to take the whole thing as EVIDENCE that Martin was ready to skip out on UT, which I considered to be drivel. I hope that helps.

asleep#212036 writes:

in response to knelson55:

I encourage you to leave. I have no doubt there were an additional 2 games BP would not have lost. In addition under BP our teams were much better conditioned.

Uh, BP's last team, with two NBA draftees, won 2 fewer conference games, never even pretended to play defense, and choked every bit as badly as some claim this team did - all with vastly more talent and a weaker schedule. Please. Bruce was a great promoter of UT basketball and a great recruiter but a great coach? Hardly - he was good, not great. Chris Lofton saved his tail and brought attention to the program, allowing him to not only win some games early in his career but recruit well off those wins. Had BP coached this team they would have struggled to make .500, let alone come within one game of the NCAA's. The only chance this team had was to play defense, keep things close, and try to take it at the end. BP's teams never once finished in the top half of the conference in defense. I liked BP and were he still the coach, I would still be supporting him. But the hard truth is that he was all icing and no cake. It worked for him but doubtful it could have worked for UT long-term. Even last year, the program was showing signs of wear. Not hatin', just sayin'. Go Vols!!!

asleep#212036 writes:

Martin may leave but there is way too much vagueness to the article and its "sources" for any of us to get too excited about it. And talk about a coaches' graveyard - Illinois has been down a long time and with Michigan State, Ohio State, Wisconsin, Michigan, and Indiana in the league and all either strong or getting stronger, why would he even want that job? I think he'll stay at least a couple of more years, if for no other reason than to buff his resume a little better than 19-15, including a loss in the NIT, at home, to MTSU...Plus, I doubt Illinois would match his $1.5 M annual salary, especially for a guy with that little experience and/or national reputation. I'm not worried. Go Vols!!!

VolGrad writes:

volthrunthru#658770,

Get back on your meds, dude. He never spoke to Illinois.

"We're building something special here," said Martin, who was Missouri State's coach for three seasons. "I enjoy my job at Tennessee, and I'm looking forward to bigger things next season."

Bubba_Knows writes:

in response to mocsandvolsfan:

We all know he may leave. But I choose to believe he'll stay like he indicated. However he may have less stress from the Illinois' fake fans. UT's FAKE fans are some of the most critical in the world. Surely though Martin doesn't read these stupid posts from the FAKE fanmania of KNS.

That said KNS I DO love this site. NOT for the Fakes' though but for the articles and the few great posts I can find. there are some true loyal fans on here that are for the Vols thru thick and thin. Most of these loyal fans I would guess DO NOT visit other sites to dump on other teams', players, and coaches(this site even dumps on the university and Athletic Directors)...don't know really. I certainly don't even have the time to check.

I have played, coached and officated. UT has some of the most ignorant basketball fans in the country. Most of them do not know the difference between a block and a charge which explains why some of them thing Martin is doing a bad job of coaching.

johnlg00 writes:

in response to Bubba_Knows:

I have played, coached and officated. UT has some of the most ignorant basketball fans in the country. Most of them do not know the difference between a block and a charge which explains why some of them thing Martin is doing a bad job of coaching.

I don't always agree with everything you say, Bubba, but you surely DO know the truth about all the ignorant and/or phony fans polluting this site. If Martin and the team ever DO read these posts, I'm sure they know the difference between those who support them and make valid--even if sometimes critical--points and the mere haters and clowns.

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