Bennett: I'm still the basketball coach at Mid-Continent


WPSD Sports

The question to Winston Bennett was simple: Are you still the men's basketball coach at Mid-Continent University?
"I am still the men's basketball coach there and very excited to be so," Bennett told WPSD Thursday afternoon.
Reports surfaced earlier this week that Bennett had been "relieved of his duties" as MCU head coach.  The university's response to those reports was there would soon be a joint statement from Bennett and the athletics director regarding his future. Without any specifics from MCU about Bennett's status, this only helped fuel the rumors Bennett's tenure was over.
"I think the question is coming from I also have other things that I do," Bennett said. "I'm a motivational speaker and an inspirational speaker. Number one for me is being in my God purpose. That's touching people's lives at all costs. There is some negotiation going on right now with the school and myself as we try to find out if there's a future there and how long that future is going to be."
Bennett has worked the last several seasons under a one-year contract.  After every season ends, that contract must be renewed. Right now, Bennett and the school are trying to get certain things in writing for that new contract.  Bennett couldn't give a timetable for when this contract situation will be resolved.  He also couldn't guarantee he'll be the Mid-Continent coach next season.
"There's some doubt because I'm going through this contemplation process. I don't know which way I'm going to go at this point in time. Depending on how negotiations go, that may have some bearing on it. One thing I will tell you is that I love the people of west Kentucky.  Me and my family have enjoyed being here and I hope we spend many more years here."
Listening to Bennett, there doesn't appear to be an end in sight in these contract talks.
"I don't think there's common ground right now, and I think we're both trying to drive the bus in terms of what they want to allow and to what I want," Bennett said. "Negotiations can be difficult things sometimes. One thing I will say is Mid-Continent has been extremely good to me and my family. I love being there and I love being the coach there."

Late Thursday afternoon, Mid-Continent chief of staff Bill Bartleman released the following statement: “Mid-Continent University and men’s basketball coach Winston Bennett are in discussions regarding his future at the University. Additional information will be released at the appropriate time.”

Bennett just completed his sixth-season with the Cougars -- a season where he won the second-most games in his MCU career.  The former Kentucky Wildcat took over the fledgling Cougar program in the spring of 2007.  Bennett compiled a 91-103 record in his six years at MCU. Bennett's Cougars had some postseason success in recent years -- winning an NCCAA Mid-east Regional title in 2010, finishing third at the NCCAA National Tournament in 2010 and appearing in the TranSouth Athletic Conference Tournament Championship Game in 2012. 
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