AP Source: Jones rejects Colorado coaching offer


AP Source: Jones rejects Colorado coaching offer

BOULDER, Colo. (AP) The losses keep piling up for the University of Colorado football program.

A person familiar with the decision told The Associated Press on Thursday that Butch Jones has rejected an offer to become the Buffaloes' next coach. The person spoke on the condition of anonymity because Jones hadn't publicly revealed his decision to stay at the University of Cincinnati.

The Cincinnati Enquirer first reported Jones had withdrawn his name from consideration for the Buffaloes job, just as he had the Purdue opening earlier in the week that subsequently went to Darrell Hazell.

Colorado athletic director Mike Bohn didn't return phone messages seeking comment on Jones' decision.

Jones met with Bohn and others in Boulder for nine hours on Monday, when he was offered a five-year deal worth at least $13.5 million. He then spent two days avoiding questions about his coaching future while promoting the Bearcats' appearance against Duke in the Belk Bowl in Charlotte, N.C., on Dec. 27.

On Wednesday night, Jones sent a text message to the AP calling a report that he had accepted the Colorado job ``absolutely false,'' and Bohn responded in a text to AP that ``our process is not complete.''

Now, it's back to Square One for a program that, at 1-11, just completed the worst season in its 123-year history.

Jones was Colorado's top choice to replace Jon Embree, who was fired after going 4-21 in two seasons at his alma mater. Jones is believed to be the only candidate that Bohn has met with during his third coaching search since firing Gary Barnett in 2005.

Jones, 44, is a hot candidate with a 50-27 record as a head coach, and might soon be in line for much better opportunities than the one Colorado had to offer. He's 23-14 in three years at Cincinnati after going 27-13 at Central Michigan. He followed Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly at both schools.

Embree had three years remaining on the five-year contract he signed on Dec. 6, 2010, when he replaced Dan Hawkins. Like Hawkins, he was due a buyout approaching $2 million.

The Buffaloes job isn't a glamorous one, with sub-par football facilities and a fan base and booster pool disenchanted by seven straight losing seasons - and now, as Embree's quick hook attests, an administration that wants immediate upgrades on the scoreboard and in the Pac-12 standings.

That's a daunting task for the next coach, who will face a truncated recruiting season while inheriting a youthful roster that has managed just three league wins since bolting the Big 12 two years ago.


AP Sports Writers Larry Lage, Joe Kay and Pat Graham contributed to this report.


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Wizards host students from Stoneman Douglas High School ahead of 'March For Our Lives'

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Wizards host students from Stoneman Douglas High School ahead of 'March For Our Lives'

With a march on Washington planned for this weekend following the mass shooting in Parkland, FL, students from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School were invited by the Wizards to attend their Friday morning practice at Capital One Arena.

About 20 of the kids showed up to watch the Wizards practice, took pictures with players, got a tour of the facilities and walked away with Wizards hats and gear. It was a small break away from what has been a tumultous time ever since the massacre at their school on Feb. 14.

Wizards majority owner Ted Leonsis was on hand to speak with the students, who are set to lead the 'March For Our Lives' through downtown Washington on Saturday.


Wizards guard Bradley Beal met with the media after taking photos with the students.

"For us to be able to take their mind off of it for just a few minutes is always a great feeling," Beal said. "At the end of the day, we're all human beings regardless of our careers are and what our jobs are. A lot of us have families, kids, brothers and sisters. The last thing that you want to happen is what happened to several of those families. You can never imagine."

Beal went to college in Florida and has participated in his own forms of activism. He has found inspiration in the efforts by Stoneman Douglas students. They have taken what happened to their school as a catalyst for what they hope produces change in the ability to protect similar attacks from happening again.


Beal, 24, finds that admirable.

"It's amazing sometimes to learn from the youth on how to do things," Beal said. "It's a testament to where our world needs to lead to, to where we need to get to and to come together as a society. It starts with us as the younger generation. We've gotta come together with love and do things like this. I think what they're doing is awesome. It's spreading positive vibes and it's true humanitarian work that they're doing."

The Stoneman Douglas students are expected to attend Friday night's Wizards-Nuggets game as well.

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Bradley Beal sees Phil Chenier's jersey retirement as something to strive for

Bradley Beal sees Phil Chenier's jersey retirement as something to strive for

The relationship between Wizards All-Star Bradley Beal and Bullets legend Phil Chenier goes beyond your average friendship between a current and former player, or a current player and team broadcaster.

Beal and Chenier are close to the point Chenier often offers advice as a fellow shooting guard who helped lead the organization to some of their most important accomplishments.

Beal is always open ears when Chenier is talking and took great honor in being the one to tell Chenier personally that his jersey would be retired by the Wizards.

The day has come for Chenier's No. 45 to be raised to the rafters and Beal feels a unique sense of pride in seeing a man he reveres to the highest degree finally have his day in the sun.

"It's unbelievable. It's more than deserving," Beal said. "I was happy to be the one who told him about it. It's a special night for him. He's been a mentor to a lot of us for many years."


Chenier was a three-time All-Star for the Washington Bullets back in the 1970s. Following his playing career, he became a legendary broadcaster calling Bullets and then Wizards games for over 30 years.

Beal is now an NBA All-Star himself, having earned the honor for the first time this season. He is a shooting guard, just like Chenier.

Chenier was the color analyst for Wizards games for the first five years of Beal's career and Beal has always seen Chenier as a model to follow both on and off the court.

"It's always motivation for me to get better and I feel like this is the final touch of it, having your jersey retired by the franchise that you played a part in their success," Beal said.


The honor Chenier is about to receive is another goal to strive for. Beal wants to achieve a lot of what Chenier has accomplished in his life from winning a championship to making All-NBA to now having his jersey hang in the rafters at Capital One Arena.

"It definitely motivates me for that to be a goal of mine. Especially with the fact we both play the same position," Beal said.


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For more on Chenier's jersey retirement, check out our in-depth interview with him on the Wizards Tipoff podcast: