Weber: ‘Committed’ to Illinois despite Sooner talk

Illinois basketball coach Bruce Weber said Thursday he’s

received calls about other coaching jobs but doesn’t plan to leave

Illinois.

The eighth-year head coach had been linked this week with the

vacant Oklahoma position.

”I received a few interest calls regarding other positions, but

nothing beyond that,” he said in a statement released by the

school. ”I remain committed to the University of Illinois.”

The Transcript in Norman, Okla., reported Wednesday that Weber

was a candidate for the Sooners job, open after Oklahoma fired Jeff

Capel earlier this month. Weber was also reportedly considered by

Tennessee.

Some Illinois fans have called for Weber to be fired after

Illinois’ 20-14 finish. The Illini opened the season in the Top 25

with talk about a potential Big Ten title but finished unranked and

in fourth place.

Athletics director Ron Guenther told reporters in February that

Weber’s not in danger of being fired. Guenther, 65, has a contract

that expires this summer and he hasn’t ruled out retiring.

Guenther and Weber have had only preliminary discussions about

this season’s results, the interest of other schools and whether

Weber will receive a raise or contract extension, sports

information director Kent Brown said.

Weber is paid $1.5 million a year under a contract that expires

in 2015.

”They’ll sit down after the (Final Four) and talk about the

whole program, including compensation,” Brown said.

Weber said Thursday that his team started working out this week

for the first time since its exit from the NCAA tournament. The

Illini lost to Kansas after winning their opener over UNLV.

”I am fortunate to have one of the elite jobs in all of college

basketball and am excited about the opportunities that lie ahead

for our program,” he said in the statement. ”We will work

tirelessly to ensure that Illinois is competing at a championship

level both in the Big Ten and nationally.”