Georgetown Basketball Coach John Thompson was offered the vacant head coaching job at the University of Oklahoma yesterday for a reported package of $120,000 a year, it was learned last night.
The offer was made by Richard Bell, chairman of Oklahoma's board of Regents, during a visit by Thompson at the Norman, Okla., campus yesterday.
Asked when he had to give Oklahoma an answer, Thompson said that he was under no deadline.
"I have to analyze it," Thompson said. "I hadn't realized basketball was that big time. There's no comparison between this deal and Florida from a financial standpoint.
"I listened to them and I have to digest it. There are several things I have to consider. The money is very inviting, but I'm not looking for a job at all. It's a situation where their people have approached me," he said. j
"Georgetown has satisfied me. There are a few things I'd like changed and I've talked about them before. But they're not unlivable. It would be foolish with the kind of money they're talking about not to evaluate it."
Oklahoma has been looking for a replacement for Dave Bliss, who earlier this month took the head coaching job at Southern Methodist University. Oklahoma is one of the three jobs Thompson has been contacted about since his Hoyas lost to Iowa, 81-80, in the NCAA East Regional final.
Georgetown completed its eighth season under Thompson with a 26-6 record.
Oklahoma contacted Thompson before the Hoya coach went to Indianapolis for the National Association of Basketball Coaches convention. Thompson is a director of the NABC.
At the time, Thompson told the Oklahoma people that if they wanted to talk to him they should call him back when he returned to Washington. Last week, when his name was linked to the Oklahoma job, Thompson said that he was not interested in it.
However, on Monday in Indianapolis, five representitives of Oklahoma, including Bell and Bill Martin, president of the Phillips Oil Company, of Bartlesville, Okla., paid Thompson a surprise visit and asked him to come out and visit the school.
This interview appears much more serious than the one with the University of Florida, which subsequently hired Norman Sloan of North Carolina State. Some sources said that Sloan had that job locked up and that the Thompson interview was merely to satisfy affirmative action interests.
Sources said that Thompson is Oklahoma's No. 1 choice and that Oklahoma's No. 1 choice and that Oklahoma plans to do whatever it takes to land him.
Of yesterday's visit to Norman, Thompson said: "My whole role was to listen. I'm impressed that the people had come in (to Indianapolis). Basically, I work for Georgetown and I feel the same way I did before. I haven't talked to my family or my staff. But there is definitely a lot of money involved."