When rumors surfaced about the Bulls’ interest in Iowa State coach Fred Hoiberg, much was made about the his love for the school for which he once starred. While the lure of NBA money was enticing, many felt Hoiberg might stay in Ames where he’s affectionately known as “The Mayor.”
But a report Wednesday from the Ames Tribune makes it sound as if Hoiberg was ready to move on from the Cyclones.
Travis Hines of the Ames Tribune details several “financial constraints” that were put on the Iowa State basketball program by athletic director Jamie Pollard.
Inside the at-times troubled relationship between Fred Hoiberg’s Cyclones and Iowa State administration http://t.co/zc5ZitXqnQ— Travis Hines (@TravisHines21) September 30, 2015
In one case, the team reportedly used their luggage as pillows and slept in a hotel ballroom for a few hours to avoid paying an extra night for lodging after a tournament in Hawaii.
A bigger issue for Pollard, according to the report, was Hoiberg’s contract, which was relatively low compared to other top college coaches.
Much of the friction is believed to stem from the last re-negotiation of Hoiberg’s contract after the Cyclones reached the NCAA tournament’s Sweet 16 in 2014, according to multiple sources. Hoiberg signed a 10-year, $20-million contract after going to a second-straight NCAA tournament while also being courted by the University of Minnesota in 2013. After that Sweet 16 appearance in 2014, he commanded a raise of $600,000 per year that those with knowledge of the negotiations believe Pollard was reluctant to award Hoiberg. (Pollard) didn’t want to give it to him, one source stated.
Neither Pollard nor Hoiberg talked with the Ames Tribune for the report, however both denied the stormy relationship on a local radio show.
Jamie Pollard on KXNO-AM in Des Moines now, said somebody's "got an axe to grind" and feels sorry for Travis HInes because "he got misled."— Mike Hlas (@Hlas) September 30, 2015
Hoiberg on KXNO now: "I have the utmost respect for Jamie Pollard. I have absolutely zero issues with how he ran our basketball program."— Mike Hlas (@Hlas) September 30, 2015
Hoiberg: "We had to find five hours of stuff to do in Hawaii. Big deal."— Mike Hlas (@Hlas) September 30, 2015
Hines says history might have re-written itself if not for the turmoil.
If Jamie would have handled things differently, another source told the Ames Tribune, I’m not so sure Fred would have left.
CLICK HERE for the full story from the Ames Tribune.