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CBSSports.com Senior Writer

Xavier coach Mack rebukes Tennessee approach

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NEW ORLEANS -- Tennessee contacted Chris Mack this week via Parker Executive Search and told the Xavier coach the school was prepared to offer an eight-year contract worth nearly $2 million a year to replace Bruce Pearl, a source close to the SEC program told CBSSports.com on Friday.

Mack rejected the overture, according to the source.

UT's search has since moved on to secondary candidates.

An attempt to reach Mack for comment was not immediately successful.

Tennessee ended its relationship with Pearl last Monday because of recruiting violations that led to a notice of allegations from the NCAA. The school is set to appear before the committee on infractions in June and will likely face further sanctions. That's why Tennessee is willing to offer an eight-year contract, a source said, because its next coach will almost certainly inherit a decimated roster and face a tough rebuilding job in the SEC East.

Mack has gone 50-17 in two seasons at Xavier.

The Xavier graduate has won Atlantic 10 titles and made the NCAA tournament both years.

Parker Executive Search is an Atlanta-based company that assists schools during coaching searches at a rate of around $75,000. Tennessee and North Carolina State are currently using Parker Executive Search. N.C. State is trying to replace Sidney Lowe. He was fired earlier this month after five seasons.


Gary Parrish is a senior college basketball columnist for CBSSports.com and frequent contributor to the CBS Sports Network. The Mississippi native also hosts the highest-rated sports talk radio show -- The Gary Parrish Show -- in the history of Memphis. He lives in that area with his wife, two children and a dog.
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