Former Arizona standout Richard Jefferson has no issues with the Wildcats’ ultimate head coach decision. However, he has a lot of problems with the process that went into the hire.
Arizona’s search process was unpopular with many alumni, especially former players. The school fired Sean Miller on Apr. 7, and took a full week to name Gonzaga assistant Jason Lloyd as his replacement. Lloyd was regarded as the immediate favorite, and received two interviews before being hired. Around the time of Lloyd’s second interview, Arizona also interviewed alumni Miles Simon, Damon Stoudamire, and Jason Terry.
In his statement, Jefferson said he had a major problem with Lloyd contract rumors coming out as Simon, Stoudamire, and Terry were interviewing for the job, comparing it to the NFL’s Rooney rule and criticizing the Wildcats for “embarrassing leaks of info.”
“My biggest issue with the process is your contract (true or not) was released on the same day Damon Stoudmire (sic) got interviewed and the day before Jason Terry and Miles Simon were also interviewed. Seems very ‘Rooney Rule’ to me,” Jefferson wrote. “Imagine walking into an interview knowing that terms have already been leaked for someone else not associated with your University or with head coaching experience.”
Jefferson made clear that he personally was not objecting to the fact that a former Arizona player did not get the job. He did, however, seem to think that the candidacies with former Wildcat players came off as courtesy interviews.
One of Jefferson’s former college teammates will have an even bigger issue with the hire than Jefferson does. It’s fair to say Arizona didn’t exactly please its alumni with the process here.