Why Didn’t Baylor Offer More Money to Keep Kim Mulkey from LSU?
Amid the hubbub and hurrahs of Kim Mulkey's arrival in Baton Rouge, there are rumblings - though they be slight - that the Hall of Fame Coach's jump from Baylor to the bayou wasn't met with universal sadness in Waco.
A report published Monday in the Forth Worth Star Telegram more than implies that the Louisiana native's relationship with some of Baylor's powers-that-be was "less than great," as evidenced by the university's failure to make Mulkey an offer to stay.
From writer Mac Engel's Star-Telegram column:
"Sources said when LSU made its offer she went to Baylor for a counter, and to address her list of concerns, but both (Athletic Director Mack) Rhoades and Baylor president Linda Livingstone passed."
A number of reports, including the Star-Telegram, say that the breaking point was a disagreement over the location of a new arena, but Engal says it may have been more:
"Some sources contended she also lobbied for the court at the new arena to be named after her, but other sources said that point was never mentioned."
But Mulkey's defenders, both in and outside the Texas school, say that big-time winning coaches - Nick Saban at Alabama and Connecticut's Gino Auriemma, to name two - have big-time personalities and opinions that are the cornerstone of their success..
The fact that Baylor's administrators, both at the university and athletic department levels, refused to cater to their three-time national champion coach, probably says just as much about the Waco university's desire to keep winning as it does about LSU's appreciation for a winner and what it takes to get them. And many times that comes down to way more than just money.