Frank Haith rumors: can't stop, won't stop. If we had a dime for every time Frank Haith's name has come up in conjunction with a current head coaching vacancy, well, we wouldn't be sitting here typing -- we'd have a diamond-encrusted robot dog taking dictation while simultaneously washing our dishes.
The latest whisper about the University of Miami men's basketball coach blew in from Athens, Georgia. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, "citing a source" (just any old source will do), reported early Thursday that both Haith and Clemson coach Oliver Purnell were set to speak with Bulldogs AD Damon Evans at the Final Four about his vacant head coaching gig. UM issued a firm denial in the universal university speak of denials, and now the AJC says Nevada coach Mark Fox is to be the new top Dawg.
It's not the first time Haith's name has been floated for a vacancy; Alabama, Arizona, and other places no one wants to live have been mentioned in the past few months. Sometimes, names of coaches that aren't really candidates are put "out there" to distract the press from actual candidates, who are put in sensitive positions with their own schools when they interview elsewhere.
Occasionally, coaches float their own names in an attempt to frighten their ADs into raises or contract renewals. It's not clear if there's a little bit of either situation going on in Coral Gables, or if analysts just like to imagine what Haith could do with a wealthier program.
For his part, Haith has repeatedly said he's happy at Miami, and ignores all the chatter. "Obviously, I’ve heard the rumors about me looking at other jobs and people being interested in me and that’s what they are, rumors,” he told the Palm Beach Post last month. “I’m not going to give that any time every time my name is mentioned with a job.”
(Also not interested in Alabama: the other 49 states. But there aren't any takers.)
Haith, 43, has been in place at Miami since 2004, and renewed his contract with the school through 2013 after last year's March Madness appearance. The program has made great strides under his watch, but there is more work to do. The question is, will he sooner or later want a postition at a school where basketball isn't playing third fiddle to football and other cultural pursuits, or is he up to digging in for the long haul? And in the meantime, will all the speculation hurt recruiting?
Time will tell, and until then, all three sides - coach, university, and other employers - will all keep saying the same thing until something finally, actually, happens.
And then someone can congratulate themselves on a scoop well sourced.
Janie Campbell is a Florida sports fan who actually did dictate this article to a robot dog. Her work has appeared in irreverent sports sites around the Internet.