On Monday, the Minnesota Gophers decided to part ways with head coach Tubby Smith. Ultimately, he was fired for his failure to win more games than Indiana, Ohio State, Wisconsin, Illinois, Michigan and Michigan State with one of the smallest budgets in college sports.
Minnesota also plays in an 82-year-old arena, have no practice facility, and, this season, they won 22 games with the toughest schedule in the nation.
In his six seasons, he went to the tournament three times. His predecessor went to the tournament once in eight seasons. Clem Haskins’ Final Four run set the bar high for all future Minnesota coaches. However, his wins were vacated and he left the program in ruins.
It’s not that Tubby Smith didn’t recruit well. After all, one of his first five-star recruits was in-state product Royce White. However, White ended up transferring and given his turbulent tenure with the Houston Rockets, his departure can’t be blamed on Smith.
His firing may be a presumptive move to gain the attention of Minnesota’s one-in-a-generation Class of 2014, but it remains to be seen if their flare will be seen by Tyus Jones, Rashad Vaughn and Reid Travis.
Smith is just as bland as his last name suggests, but so is Minnesota. They may think they can outkick their coverage and lure Shaka Smart to the Land of 10,000 Lakes, but it’s not happening -- even if their athletic director and assistant AD hired Smart at VCU.
Minnesota is that tubby dude with a receding hairline, more baby fat than Kimora Lee, no swag, illegitimate kids and a stable relationship. However, he still thinks he can bag himself a model. Smith and Minnesota had a stable relationship, but Minnesota wants themselves a vixen.
Smith’s buyout will pay him $2.5 million, but it’s not about Smith anymore. Chalk it up to the 80/20 rule.
This decision will be judged by how his replacement measures up to the unreasonable expectations.