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Cravens Expects To Be Fired As UI Coach Sometime Today

Joe Cravens will go into work this morning as the men’s basketball coach at the University of Idaho.

By the end of the day, however, Cravens anticipates being told his contract will not be renewed.

“I’m going in tomorrow expecting the worst,” Cravens said Sunday.

Cravens’ job security has been in question since the Vandals suffered through a 1-8 February. At the time, athletic director Pete Liske declined to discuss Cravens’ future, saying the coach would be evaluated after the season.

Idaho rebounded from its February flop with a pair of victories over Montana - including last Thursday’s win in the opening round of the Big Sky Tournament - before losing to eventual champion Montana State on Friday night.

Idaho finished with a 12-16 record.

UI interim president Tom Bell on Sunday night said “no decision” has been made on Cravens’ status.

“Joe and the athletic director (Liske) will get together early this week and evaluate his (Cravens’) situation,” Bell said. “The athletic director will consult with me, yes. I’ll not have any more comment until after I get with the athletic director early this week.” Liske didn’t return a Sunday evening phone message.

On Sunday, the basketball program went about business as usual - or as usual as it can be with the cloud hanging over Cravens’ employment. Assistant coach Ray Jones made his second recruiting trip in the last five days. He’s scouting a junior-college tournament in Kansas. Assistant coach Jay McMillin said he’ll be in his office this morning.

Cravens, whose three-year record at UI is 42-41, declined further comment. He has worked on three one-year contracts and his current contract expires in June.

, DataTimes ILLUSTRATION: Color Photo