Broken promises? UC source responds to Cronin chatter

Broken promises? UC source responds to Cronin chatter
Mick Cronin (file)

CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - FOX19 NOW has learned University of Cincinnati head basketball coach Mick Cronin is still in Las Vegas meeting with UNLV Athletic Director Tina Kunzer-Murphy and the Rebels are putting the "full court press" on Cronin, according to Mark Anderson of the Las Vegas Review-Journal.

UC Athletic Director Mike Bohn tells FOX19 NOW he is in Cincinnati right now and waiting on Mick Cronin to return, whenever that happens.

A source close to the situation tells FOX19 NOW President Santa Ono and Bohn have made several promises to Cronin that have been delayed or undelivered including: a new locker room, a renovated arena and two recruiting charter jets.

Those undelivered promises and the lack of funding to back those promises, according to the source, are a big reason why Cronin hasn't been given the full potential to compete at the highest level and is still considering leaving.

A member of UC's athletic department spoke at length to FOX19 NOW about these perceived issues.

That person wants to remain anonymous because the process is still ongoing, but told FOX19 NOW Sports the original locker room renovation project was agreed upon before Mike Bohn started as athletic director. The plan included an expanded and upgraded locker room on the second floor of the athletic building. However, once Bohn began work towards renovating Fifth Third Arena, they decided it was best to renovate the existing locker room already in place when they renovate the building to lump all of the renovation work into one project.

Fundraising for the Fifth Third Arena project continues with $40 million needed by this December to go forward with the project. Groundbreaking on renovation is set to start a year from now if the proper funds are raised.

The current UCats club on the sixth floor of Fifth Third Arena is set to be upgraded soon and will be the first tangible renovation in place by this fall.

The other perceived sticking point between Cronin and the athletic department is the use of private jets for recruiting trips. The source inside UC's athletic department told FOX19 NOW Mick Cronin is the only coach on campus who has recently used a private jet.

FOX19 NOW has learned a donor made a gift to the athletic department to allow any coach on campus to use his private jet up to a certain dollar amount. The source said Cronin is the only coach who used the jet and used it in excess of $100,000 in trips to recruit.

However, after reading our story, a separate source with knowledge of the jet's usage refuted the dollar amount used by Cronin. Claiming Cronin used far less than stated in the story.

FOX19 NOW reached out to Bearcats Athletic Director Mike Bohn via text and asked, "Are you confident Mick is staying in Cincinnati?"

"He loves Cincinnati," Bohn replied via text.

As of right now, no deal is done between Cronin and UNLV.

This comes after a UNLV beat writer told FOX19 NOW Wednesday that UNLV players could revolt if Cronin is hired as the Runnin' Rebels head coach.

Most players are unhappy with the Cronin situation and want current assistant coach and former Runnin' Rebels' legend Stacey Augmon as the team's head coach, Taylor Bern of the Las Vegas Sun told FOX19 NOW.

Cronin has led UC to six straight NCAA tournaments in his ten years as head coach of the Bearcats. His current contract at UC runs through the 2021 season.

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