COLUMBIA — Officials from both Georgia and MU would not confirm rumors concerning a $2 million-plus contract deal offered to Mike Anderson to coach the Bulldogs next year.
"There's certainly a lot of interest, but he's our coach and we hope to keep him here for a long time," said Chad Moller, spokesman for the MU athletics department.
Tim Hix, Georgia's associate director of sports communications, said he could not confirm or deny that Georgia has offered Anderson a contract. Hix also said he didn't know whether Anderson's agent, Jimmy Sexton, was in Atlanta on Monday, as reported by a television station in Memphis.
Anderson led the Tigers to the most wins in school history with 31, taking the team to the Elite Eight in the NCAA tournament this year. In his three seasons as Missouri's head coach, the Alabama native holds a record of 65-35.
ESPN.com reported this morning that Georgia's offer is more than double what MU pays Anderson, which is currently $850,000 per season.
A spokesman with the Georgia athletics department said he knew nothing of the rumors or a possible contract.
The Bulldogs have struggled recently, going 12-20 this season and 3-13 in Southeastern Conference play. One of those losses came to Missouri in Athens, Ga., by a score of 83-76 on Jan. 3. The Bulldogs fired coach Dennis Felton later that month.
There has also been speculation of another potential offer from Memphis.
At the end of a day full of reflection, Memphis coach John Calipari accepted the coaching job at college basketball blueblood Kentucky. The Memphis Commercial Appeal reported that the deal would make Calipari the highest paid coach in college basketball at more than $5 million a season.
The paper also reported that Anderson's name is near the top of the school's list of candidates.
A Memphis television ran a story Monday reporting that the school had received permission from Missouri to speak with Anderson.
The Memphis athletic department denied that report early Tuesday afternoon.
Lamar Chance, a spokesman for Memphis men's basketball, said that he had no knowledge of the department receiving permission to speak to Anderson, a first step before a contract can be offered.
Chance said that the athletic department would move forward with a search once it knew of Calipari's decision.
Also Tuesday morning, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution posted a story quoting Anderson's agent, Jimmy Sexton, as saying that the ESPN.com report as inaccurate.
"Georgia hasn't offered him the job," Sexton told the Journal-Constitution. "I wish they had. They haven't said the job is his."
As of Tuesday afternoon, Anderson was in his office at Mizzou Arena, Moller said. According to a report by The Kansas City Star, Anderson met with Athletic Director Mike Alden for contract discussions Tuesday morning.
Moller said that he did not know if another meeting between Alden and Anderson was planned but expected discussions to continue. He added that he thinks Anderson will travel to Detroit to attend the NCAA men's Final Four this weekend.
The athletic department sent out a statement from Alden at 1:40 Tuesday afternoon reiterating Missouri's interest in retaining the coach.
"We know Mike Anderson is a hot commodity in the college basketball coaching world and have been actively working towards a contract extension with him for quite some time," Alden said in the statement. "It’s our full intention to do everything within our power in seeing that Mike Anderson is at the University of Missouri.”
— Missourian reporters Alex Lundy, Matt Schiffman and Alex Ruppenthal contributed to this report.