Conflicting reports surround Shaka Smart’s future at VCU

Posted at 3:11 PM, Mar 20, 2012

RICHMOND, Va. (WTVR) -Rumors continue to swirl about the future of current VCU head coach Shaka Smart and his offer to jump to the same job at the University of Illinois.

As of late last night, CBS Sports college basketball reporter Jeff Goodman reported that Smart was still considering the offer, while earlier in the evening, his CBS colleague Jon Rothstein tweeted that “unless something drastic happens in the next 24 hours, Smart is staying at VCU”

Shaka Smart was on the road Tuesday, recruiting for the VCU Rams, a university official confirmed to CBS 6 sports director Lane Casadonte. The university would not say where Smart is recruiting. WECT-TV in Wilmington, NC reported that Smart is there recruiting a local high school standout.

The Chicago Sun-Times is reporting Smart has “shown solid interest” in the head coaching job there. Reporter Herb Gould said his source is a person who has spoken to both Coach Smart and Illinois athletic director Mike Thomas.

‘‘They’re going to make damn sure they don’t let him get away,’’ the source told Gould. Gould also reported another source told him that Smart to Illinois is “far from a done deal.”[Click here to read the Sun-Times report]

Smart, who recently signed a contract extension at VCU, is considered one of the best young college basketball coaches in the country. One year after leading the Rams on a historic run to the Final Four in 2011, Smart lead his 2012 team back to the NCAA tournament. This year the Rams, who earned a 12 seed, upset 5-seed Wichita State before losing by two points to 4-seed Indiana University.

CBS Sports reporter Gary Parrish tweeted news about Smart earlier Tuesday afternoon.