There's speculation that Barbee may leave UTEP. We all know the particulars — Memphis as head coach or Kentucky as assistant to his mentor, John Calipari. Here's what Barbee said to El Paso:
"I'm happy being at UTEP. I love El Paso. My family loves El Paso. I'm not going to deal with speculation."
He should have said: "I had expected to take this team to the NCAA Tournament. That didn't happen. I have goals to accomplish at UTEP."
That would have been more convincing.
Recall Billy Gillispie's quote when asked why he hadn't signed a contract with UTEP, even though he was in his second (final) season here:
"Seriously, I've got everyting I could ever ask for here. I'm not an "I" guy. The opportunity is everything. I love being here and I'll be here as long as they will have me."
Billy then went to Texas A@M.
Note: When Doc Sadler replaced Gillispie, he had similar quotes about loving El Paso, et al. After two years he went to Nebraska.
I'm not one to say that coaches are wrong to leave, if they can better their careers. Both Gillispie and Sadler when to those proverbial "higher places." I don't think Barbee is ready for that. He's been here three years and has not taken UTEP to a legitimate post-season tournament. And he could have addressed his situation here better than that wimpy "love El Paso" quote.