Sports

Alabama’s Nate Oats waves off rumors he’s leaving with Kentucky job reportedly opening

Alabama Crimson Tide men’s basketball coach Nate Oats assured fans Monday night he plans on staying with the program despite rumors to the contrary.

Oats released a statement to Crimson Tide fans on X in an attempt to dispel any notion he would leave to take the Kentucky job with John Calipari, seemingly on his way to Arkansas.

Nate Oats passes the ball

Alabama Crimson Tide men’s basketball coach Nate Oats passes the ball during Final Four Friday for the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament at State Farm Stadium on April 5, 2024 in Glendale, Arizona. (Brett Wilhelm/NCAA Photos via Getty Images)

“I am fully committed to this team and to this University. We have already accomplished some great things here, and there is nothing I want more than The University of Alabama to win its first national championship in men’s basketball.”

“Despite any rumors to the contrary, rest assured that I will continue that pursuit as your head coach.”

Oats led Alabama to the Final Four – the first time in the program’s history. Because of his success in his first five seasons at Alabama, Oats is seen as a hot commodity for a blue-blood school to poach. However, Oats insisted he is not going anywhere.

SOUTH CAROLINA-IOWA WOMEN’S BASKETBALL NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP DRAWS RECORD VIEWERSHIP

Nate Oats cuts down the nets

Alabama Crimson Tide men’s basketball coach Nate Oats cuts down the net as West Regional champions after defeating the Clemson Tigers in the Elite Eight round of the 2024 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament held at Crypto.com Arena on March 30, 2024 in Los Angeles. (C. Morgan Engel/NCAA Photos via Getty Images)

Calipari was finalizing a five-year deal to take the Razorbacks’ head-coaching job, ESPN reported late Sunday.

Calipari has been the head coach of the Kentucky Wildcats since the start of the 2009-10 season and has been at the top of the college basketball coaching landscape since Derrick Rose led the Memphis-led team to the national championship in 2009 while Calipari was there. He then left for the Wildcats the next season.

With Kentucky, he has been the face of one-and-done. He would recruit the biggest and best high school basketball players around the country and lure them to Kentucky in hopes of making their NBA dreams come true. It worked for the most part, as players like Anthony Davis, Karl-Anthony Towns, Devin Booker, John Wall and DeMarcus Cousins passed through Lexington.

Calipari led the team to a 38-2 record in 2012 and won the national championship.

John Calipari on fixing the transfer portal

Kentucky head coach John Calipari is reportedly set to take the Arkansas job. (Silas Walker/Lexington Herald-Leader/Tribune News Service via Getty Images)

There still appears to be a lot to figure out for these major SEC schools.

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