Weber: ‘Committed’ to Illinois despite Sooner talk

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CHAMPAIGN, ILL. (AP) - 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.”

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