The search for a new UNLV head coach has been very public with the latest pursuit of Cincinnati's Mick Cronin and it ultimately ended up with Cronin heading back to Ohio to remain the head coach with the Bearcats.
Cronin released a statement Friday about deciding to stay put:
"I would like people to try and understand after 10 years of dedicated service I chose to evaluate my career and my life," Cronin said. "Reflecting through that process was extremely difficult, but it was something I needed to do for me personally.
"The city of Cincinnati and the University are special places to me and I've always said what an honor it is to be the head coach at my alma mater. This program has come such a long way in 10 years and we've still got work to do and goals to achieve. The 2016-17 season starts for me today and I can't wait for the future that lies ahead for the Bearcats and this University."
With the pursuit so public, UNLV athletics director Tina Kuzner-Murphy felt they had to release a statement about the coaching search.
"We brought Mick Cronin to Las Vegas to meet about our men’s basketball head coaching vacancy," Kunzer-Murphy said. "We appreciate his interest in the position, but he is no longer a candidate, as we understand he will be staying at Cincinnati. We wish him all the best."
That statement is pretty generic and straight forward but it may have been sent out with a frown on her face as there is more to the story of UNLV and Cronin.
So, UNLV AD now saying on @ESPNLasVegas that Cronin verbally agreed to a deal and then never called back when he went home to Cincy.— Geoff Grammer (@GeoffGrammer) March 25, 2016
Here is the exchange on the ESPN 1100 with Kunzer-Murphy
Mitch/Pritch: Did you ever get to the point while he was here (in Las Vegas) where a contract was offered to him?
Mitch/Pritch: What did he say?
Kunzer-Murphy: He said he would take it.
Mitch/Pritch: Then what happened?
Kunzer-Murphy: I don't know, I haven't talked to him.
Mitch/Pritch: So he told you before he got on the flight yesterday that he would take the contract?
Kunzer-Murphy: That's correct.
Mitch/Pritch: And you haven't heard from him since?
Kunzer-Murphy: That's correct.
Mitch/Pritch: Oooh. That's how he left it? ...
Kunzer-Murphy: Yeah, he told us that he would take the job. But you know what, I'm going to tell you guys this: We're moving on.
People change their mind all the time and if this side of the story is to believed that Cronin said yes to a deal and then left back to Cincinnati to stay that is not a very good look.
However, we do have a response from Cronin about UNLV.
Mick Cronin to ESPN: "I never officially accepted. The interest was flattering and I understand these things are difficult for everyone."— Jeff Goodman (@GoodmanESPN) March 25, 2016
He also told the Cincinnati Enquirer "I never officially accepted. I looked at it. I didn't take it."
These are both sides of the story and it might be somewhere in the middle with the specific language that both Cronin and Kunzer-Murphy used to tell their version.
There is no need for UNLV to dwell on the fallout of trying to land Cronin and they are now going to the next name on their rolodex.