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Missouri Prepared to Fight Arkansas for Mike Anderson

When Arkansas fired John Pelphrey, the first candidate to come to most people's minds was Missouri's Mike Anderson. Anderson played and coached for Nolan Richardson at Tulsa, and he followed Richardson to Fayetteville in 1985. He even took over as interim coach when Richardson was fired in February of 2002.

So when rumors began swirling last weekend that Anderson was going to be hired at Arkansas and soon, they seemed quite believable. They ended up premature, but they still stayed around in one form or another through the week.

On Monday, Missouri drafted an extension with a raise for Anderson, and the Board of Curators (directors) at least considered the deal yesterday. Also as of yesterday, Missouri hadn't received any requests from Arkansas to speak to Anderson, whose contract requires written permission from the school in order to interview for another job. Then again, the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reported early this morning that Arkansas is preparing to offer the job to him.

If this little song and dance routine sounds familiar, it should. Anderson's agent is none other than Jimmy Sexton, the master of using the rumor mill to get his clients extensions and raises. While the interest from Arkansas does look legitimate, the rumors of job offers and press conferences last weekend were probably Sexton's doing.

No news is likely to break today as Anderson is out of town attending a funeral for a friend. It does appear though that Missouri and Arkansas will be in a fight for his services as coach. Where Arkansas goes from here if Anderson declines is unclear, though Marquette's Buzz Williams has been mentioned in a few places as a possible second choice.