No, I don't think it makes much of a difference when you have 0 hardware to go with it. When was the last time you've even heard of a coach winning a COTY award without actually WINNING anything? Only at UT could we possibly have a COTY and nothing to show for it. It's almost unheard of. Barnes SHOULD have won the damn award LAST YEAR. It would've made much more sense. If you think recruits don't see that, then you're being incredibly naive.
Let's face it: The stars aligned to put Barnes in the driver's seat because of UT's unique situation: 1. Football continues to disappoint after several coaching search nightmares. 2.Lady Vol's were forced to find a new coach 3. Men's Basketball is currently the only winning program of the three, and we are just plain tired of losing, so most of us wanted to keep Barnes. He's probably overpaid and Glad they're overpaying him.
Witch Doctor say we've went the "cheap route" and thats why were here (i.e Butch Jones, Donnie Tyndell, Cumzbo Martin, the list is long... If we paid too much then good! About time we got away from the BS line of "tradition, everyone wants this job!" " Its a destination job!" BS. its about money and lets see how this way goes..bet its better than the other. Only ones that hate this would be other teams fans..
Word is, UCLA contacted Barnes without seeking the UT permission. I have long suspected incidents like, I think the USCjr band playing over POTS during the Butch era was to show disrespect for the UT. If the UCLA report is correct, it reinforces my belief in this.