It’s no secret that Georgia has identified Oklahoma coach Jeff Capel as its guy to replace Dennis Felton in Athens.
What is surprising is that, according to sources close to the situation, the Bulldogs are prepared to offer Capel in excess of $2 million per season.
However, one issue that is interesting is that Capel is the sixth highest-paid coach in the Big 12. There’s no doubt he should be behind Texas’ Rick Barnes and Kansas’ Bill Self, but he makes less than Oklahoma State’s Travis Ford, Baylor’s Scott Drew and Texas A&M’s Mark Turgeon.
I haven't seen it sourced anywhere else, but it definately has been no secret that Georgia covets Capel. However, I read a good article by Berry Tramel at The Oklahoman about a month ago about this very topic, and he makes a few good points:
OU again is good in basketball, really good, which means hand-wringing returns to Soonerville.
How will Oklahoma ever keep its coach?
But history tells us optimism should trump anxiety in the Capel caper. Sooner basketball is a good job. A very good job.
"You get here, you realize how good of a job it is,” Capel said.
Here’s how good is the job. The two guys who held it right before Capel, Billy Tubbs and Kelvin Sampson, stayed on duty 14 and 12 years.
That’s remarkable stability in the volatile world of collegiate athletics.
But South Carolina, a rumor last year? Georgia, a rumor this year?
That’s career roulette, and Capel is too smart to go jeopardizing his meteoric rise in the profession.
Capel makes $1.05 million this year plus bonuses and will no doubt get a hefty raise after this season, though Castiglione declines to comment on what he might do to make Capel feel even more at home.
OU doesn’t have to do much. It’s already given Capel an excellent job, and he’s making the most of it.
So if you start hearing the rumor winds swirling again, take Berry's words into account. Capel is setting up a great program here. He's pulled in two McDonalds All Americans for next year and no doubt has strong recruiting connections building up. Plus, the Oklahoma Athletic Department does a wonderful job with keeping its coaches happy. No doubt they will reward Capel for everything that he's done.
Besides, I can't see Capel wanting to head to the SEC and basically start the process all over again. "Career roulette" would be an accurate term.
P.S. Jeff Capel, thank you for everything you've done with this program so far.