Discussions between Tennessee officials and Michael White that intensified over the weekend have cooled, and sources told CBSSports.com on Monday that the 37-year-old will now likely stay at Louisiana Tech barring an unexpected change of plans.
CBSSports.com first reported White's involvement with Tennessee on Saturday night, at which point a source said that UT had initially contacted some so-called "A-list" candidates to replace Cuonzo Martin, but that the interest wasn't mutual. Consequently, athletic director Dave Hart turned toward White, who spent the previous three years at Louisiana Tech. But a source told CBSSports.com that, after speaking with Tennessee officials, White is now leaning toward staying at Louisiana Tech, where his current contract gives him more longterm security than Tennessee seemed willing to provide.
Expect Southern Miss coach Donnie Tyndall to emerge as an alternative candidate.
Tyndall, 43, has recruited in the SEC as an assistant at LSU, worked in the state of Tennessee as an assistant at Middle Tennessee, flourished in the region as the head coach at Morehead State, and won just as many games (56) the past two seasons at Southern Miss as White has won in the past two seasons at Louisiana Tech. Furthermore, Tyndall is a big personality who has helped increase season-ticket sales at USM. He's twice inherited bad situations (not unlike the current situation at Tennessee), and both times turned things around quickly while winning at an unprecedented level relative to the program for which he was working.