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Report: John Calipari turns down interest from UCLA

State Farm Champions Classic

NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 15: Head coach John Calipari of the Kentucky Wildcats reacts against the Michigan State Spartans in the second half during the State Farm Champions Classic at Madison Square Garden on November 15, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by xc)

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John Calipari was offered, and turned down, a six-year, $48 million contract from UCLA to remain with Kentucky, according to a report from The Athletic.

It’s been nearly three months since UCLA fired head coach Steve Alford, but they have yet to make much progress when it comes to replacing him. The links to Calipari have been out there for a few weeks now, but the assumption in coaching circles was always that Cal was going to turn them down. According to the USA Today Sports database, Cal would have taken a paycut of $1.2 million annually to accept the $8 million-a-year gig from the Bruins.

No one on the planet is better at leveraging someone to get a raise than Cal is.

But I also think that it is relevant to note that this information getting out into the public sphere is a good thing for UCLA, too. One of the biggest stumbling blocks they have faced in their pursuit of a replacement is salary. They paid Steve Alford less than $3 million annually, which, when combined with the cost of living in LA, is not all that much when compared to the money than can be made at other schools in cheaper towns.

Update: Later Monday Calipari confirmed on his radio show that he and UK have agreed to terms on a “lifetime” deal.