Tubby Smith's camp "furious" after coach first learns of U of M firing from news reports

Categories: U of M
tubby smith new rect.jpg
Reporters and U of M Regents knew of Smith's firing before he did.
An interesting subplot of yesterday's Tubby-gets-fired story pertains to how Smith first heard he was out as coach.

THE BACKSTORY: Tubby Smith fired; new U of M basketball coach already in place?

About an hour after news of Tubby's termination broke, reports circulated that Smith still hadn't been notified of his firing by the university. From the standpoint of U of M athletics department administration, that, of course, doesn't seem like a very professional way to handle the ouster of a respected, high-profile employee.

According to the Associated Press's John Krawczynski, Tubby's camp was "furious" to first hear the news from the media.

During the afternoon press conference in which he discussed Smith's firing, U of M athletics director Norwood Teague acknowledged that news of Smith's ouster broke before he had a chance to speak with him.

"Everything leaks, all the time," Teague said when asked how it was possible for Smith to learn of his termination from the media. "We know that. No one intentionally did that. Things leak and that's just the way it is."

Teague added that when he finally had a chance to talk to Tubby, he could "see the disappointment in his eyes."

"He's a great human being," Teague said. "I don't think he was totally surprised."

But before you feel too bad for Tubby, remember that he'll receive a cool $2.5 million buyout for getting axed. And Smith "definitely plans to keep coaching," Krawczynski reports, so yesterday probably won't be his last payday either.


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9 comments
Eric TheCapn
Eric TheCapn

It's also insane if they hinged his firing on a single 40-minute game, in the most volatile sporting event in the world, against an amazingly successful program that won two championships in the last decade, and a highly-paid coach who's been at that winning program for almost two decades.

Eric TheCapn
Eric TheCapn

I hate that programs do this before the end of the tournament, too. Then coaches and players still playing start getting distracting questions. Show some respect and wait two flippin' weeks. It's doubly-classless from the U of M. I don't think I'll be cheering for them in the future.

Jeff Cagle
Jeff Cagle

I can't blame him. The same thing happens to coaches and athletes who's teams are cut, but first learn about it from a new reporter.

Jay Robertson
Jay Robertson

but what do we know? Most of us saw it coming - maybe he did too, and just wasn't answering his phone...

johnpalmersheim
johnpalmersheim

I don't feel terribly bad for him with a cool $2.5m now in his pocket. Plus he entertained coaching positions elsewhere all throughout his tenure at the U - LSU and Auburn most recently. I wish him all the best, but they should have known something was going to happen after another lackluster season.

Ryan Watson
Ryan Watson

I don't care how much he has or how much he is getting... that is still disrespectful to not tell him first but let the news tell him.

David Gustafson
David Gustafson

Yeah, the horror, having to hear on tv that somebody's giving you $2.5 million to sit in your mansion and live a life of luxury. Anybody have the sheet music for "Cry Me A River?"

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