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UNLV-Pitino Meet Productive

Rick Pitino met with UNLV's athletic director Wednesday in what the university said were preliminary talks over the school's basketball coaching job.

The daylong meeting in Miami with athletic director Charles Cavagnaro ended with both sides agreeing to meet again sometime in mid-February, university president Carol Harter said.

"Today's meeting was a preliminary conversation between UNLV and Coach Pitino; the university made no offer of employment, nor did the coach seek one," Harter said in a statement.

Harter, breaking a university silence on the efforts to woo Pitino, made it clear in her statement that the university was actively seeking to hire Pitino, who resigned as coach and president of the Boston Celtics on Jan. 8, 3 1/2 seasons after he was brought in to revive the NBA franchise. He forfeited some $20 million left in his contract by resigning.

"I am encouraged by what I understand to be the positive tone of the meeting because this was meant to be a sharing of ideas and philosophies rather than a negotiation of an immediate change in head coaches for UNLV's men's basketball team," Harter said.

Cavagnaro went to Miami to meet with Pitino after Pitino backed off his plans to come to Las Vegas this week to discuss the job.

Interim coach Max Good is 7-3 after taking over for the fired Bill Bayno last month, but the Runnin' Rebels have lost two straight while the speculation over Pitino heated up.

Good has a contract through next June, and Harter said he would coach the team the rest of the season.

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