UNLV has asked for permission to speak with Cincinnati’s Mick Cronin about the Runnin’ Rebels’ men’s basketball coaching vacancy, a source confirmed to CBS Sports on Monday.
Cincinnati.com has reported that UC granted Cronin permission.
This comes a few hours after Cincinnati president Santa J. Ono tweeted the following:
Great conversation with Mick Cronin today. Made it clear he is a key member of our team here at UC.
— Santa J. Ono (@PrezOno) March 21, 2016
The most obvious hurdle in UNLV’s pursuit of Cronin is, on the surface, money.
Cronin, a 44-year-old Cincinnati native and UC graduate, has a contract that allows him to make up to $2.2 million per year, according to Cincinnati.com, and UNLV has never paid a men’s basketball coach anything close to that figure. In fact, UNLV only paid former men’s basketball coach Dave Rice around $700,000 annually. But a source told CBS Sports that UNLV “can probably get to around $2 million a year” in an attempt to lure Cronin from the American Athletic Conference to the Mountain West Conference.
Would that be enough?
And it should be noted multiple sources told CBS Sports that Cronin has “been looking to move.” Thus, UNLV won’t necessarily have to overpay to get him, according to a source.
Cronin has been at Cincinnati for 10 seasons. He’s made six straight NCAA Tournaments and compiled a 203-125 record in his career, 72-27 since Cincinnati joined the AAC ahead of the 2013-14 season. Cronin has never led the Bearcats past the Sweet 16.