Frank Rienzo, Georgetown University athletic director, has given his University of Florida counterpart, Bill Carr, permission to talk to Hoya Coach John Thompson about the vacant Florida basketball position and Thompson said yesterday he is willing to listen to what Carter has to say.
"I am the coach at Georgetown and I am satisfied with that job," Thompson said. "But I would be foolish not to listen to what Florida has to say. I can't be interested in something I don't know anything about. I'm certainly willing to hear what they have to tell me."
Florida officials were trying to reach Thompson last night. Thompson was reported en route to Syracuse, N.Y., where his Hoyas play the nationally ranked Orangemen Tuesday night.
Thompson has been the coach at Georgetown the last eight seasons, taking the Hoyas into postseason play five years in a row. This year's team is 17-5, on a six game winning streak and should move back into the top 20 when this week's national rankings are released today.
Florida never has had a black head coach in basketball or football. One Florida source said yesterday that Carr's current search for a coach is "a color-blind one. He's looking for someone to rebuild this program. You can't look at John Thompson's record and not consider him."
Many Florida alumni are pushing Carr to hire North Carolina State Coach Norman Sloan to replace John Lotz, fired in December. Whether Sloan, who coached at Flordia from 1960-66, can be lured from State is an unanswered question although sources say he interested in the job.
Other coaches on Carr's list are Alabama's C. M. Newton and Jim Boeheim, coach of second-ranked Syracuse, Florida sources said earlier that Carr is seeking a coach who already has built a program from ground zero to the top.
Florida's two previous coaches were assistants from top programs and they did not succeed in Gainesville. This year's team's record is 5-16 after finishing 8-19 and in the Southeastern Conference cellar a year ago.