School works on Smith contract

Friday, March 31, 2006

An extension is expected to be finalized next week.

As Southeast Missouri State athletic director Don Kaverman prepares to speak with potential men's basketball coaching candidates at the Final Four, he is also hoping to get B.J. Smith's contract status ironed out in the next several days.

The current contract of Smith, who recently completed his fourth season as the Southeast women's basketball coach, expires on April 30.

"We expect him to be back," Kaverman said. "We're just working out the finer points of his contract extension, but we hope to have that done next week."

The women's basketball program is being investigated by the NCAA for possible rules violations, but Kaverman said the university must proceed with Smith's situation because "we may not know the outcome of that for some time."

Kaverman said Southeast coaching contracts -- along with coaching contracts nationwide -- contain clauses for potential NCAA violations.

"It's pretty standard; it's even required by NCAA regulations," Kaverman said. "If you're involved in any serious NCAA violations, then the contract can be voided."

Smith -- who Kaverman has publicly supported -- is 79-41 as Southeast's coach, and he recently led the Redhawks to the program's first NCAA Division I tournament berth.

Southeast has the Ohio Valley Conference's best record both overall and in league play over the last four years.

Men's basketball update

As for the men's basketball coaching position, which became vacant when Gary Garner's contract was not renewed early this month, Kaverman said he will conduct preliminary discussions with candidates today, Saturday and Sunday at the Final Four in Indianapolis.

Kaverman said Southeast president Ken Dobbins will also be involved with some of the talks.

"We have probably eight or 10 coaches we're going to talk to," Kaverman said. "A lot more want to talk to us, but we only have a certain amount of time."

While Kaverman would not reveal who he will meet with in Indianapolis, sources told the Southeast Missourian that he is scheduled to meet with Anthony Beane today and Rod Barnes on Sunday.

Beane, a former Southeast assistant, is an assistant at St. Louis University. Barnes is a former head coach at Mississippi.

Others who have been mentioned as potential candidates, and who Kaverman is likely to meet with over the next few days, include Tennessee assistant and former Murray State head coach Scott Edgar, former Rutgers head coach Gary Waters, Furman head coach Larry Davis and Utah Valley State head coach Dick Hunsaker.

Also believed to be interested in the Southeast job -- at least some will likely meet with Kaverman -- are Central Florida assistant (and former Southeast assistant) Tom Schuberth, Northwest Missouri State head coach Steve Tappmeyer, Southern Indiana head coach Rick Herdes, Oklahoma assistant Bob Hoffman and Washington assistant Jim Shaw.

Hoffman, a former head coach at Texas-Pan American, is the newest name to surface. He is reportedly not following former Sooners head coach Kelvin Sampson to Indiana after Sampson recently was hired to take over the Hoosiers' program.

Kaverman said he hopes to meet with the search committee some time Tuesday, and several finalists will be announced shortly thereafter. The finalists will be brought to campus for interviews and public meetings.

"We could have as many as four finalists, but there could be less. I don't think it will be more than four," Kaverman said.

The spring signing period begins April 12, but Kaverman said it will be difficult to have a new coach in place by then.

"We would like it to be as close to the signing period as possible, preferably before, but if we interview four that will be tough to do," Kaverman said. "But hopefully, it will be as close to the signing period as possible."

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