As bordering rivals, when both of the jobs at Missouri and Illinois came available in recent weeks, there figured to be some competition between the two schools when pitching their chosen candidates.
The majority of that competition surrounded then Cal head coach Cuonzo Martin, who was hired by Missouri Wednesday afternoon on a seven-year, $21 million deal. It was thought that Martin might actually prefer the Illini job to Mizzou’s, but as reported by SEC Network’s Paul Finebaum, that is evidently not the case, as Martin turned down a substantial offer from Illinois:
SOURCE: Cuonzo Martin turned down an $18 million dollar contract from Illinois
— Paul Finebaum (@finebaum) March 15, 2017
Though the total dollars from Illinois is obviously less than what Martin ultimately signed for with Missouri, it’s unclear how long the offered deal was for. Regardless, it’s a moot point at this stage in the game, as Martin will be in Columbia — and playing the Illini every December — for the foreseeable future.