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Bennett won't pursue Indiana job

PULLMAN, Wash. — Washington State's Tony Bennett talked to Indiana about its vacant head coaching job but decided not to pursue it.

"I had an exploratory conversation with Indiana, and I am not going to pursue the Indiana job," Bennett told The Spokesman-Review.

Bennett told the Spokesman-Review that Indiana called Saturday evening to gauge his interest. He would not identify who called, but said Indiana contacted Washington State athletic director Jim Sterk to ask permission to contact him.

Speculation linking Bennett to openings at Indiana and California have been floating even before the Cougars lost to North Carolina in the round of 16 on Thursday, prompting Sterk to issue a statement Saturday that he had not been contacted by any university for permission to talk to the Cougars' coach.

Bennett is 52-17 in his two years at Washington State, guiding the Cougars to consecutive NCAA tournament appearances for the first time.

Last year, Bennett signed a seven-year contract that pays about $700,000 per year.