Sources: Shaka Smart Turns Down Illinois
Virginia Commonwealth coach Shaka Smart told Illinois athletic director Mike Thomas on Wednesday that he’s not interested in becoming the Illini’s next basketball coach, multiple sources told the Sun-Times.
Smart, 34, turned down a $20.8 million offer — eight years at $2.6 million a year, a source said — to succeed Bruce Weber, who was fired after nine years in Champaign.
Why turn down that kind of life-changing money?
Smart is making $1.2 million at VCU, excellent for a mid-major. Even though he and his wife enjoy big-city life, a source said, he wasn’t interested in the tricky recruiting of Chicago. With all but one important player back, he’s in no hurry to leave Richmond, a city where the Smarts are treated well.