One ESPN reporter reacted to the new of the firing of Tubby Smith saying, "Who does Minnesota think they are?"
We're not a traditional college basketball powerhouse, so why should we strive to be one?
The decision by the Gophers to fire Smith was one that needed to be make. Tubby's record at the U was 124-81. A 60 percent winning percentage doesn't sound too bad, but Smith's teams were only 46-62 in Big Ten games in his six seasons here.
When Tubby left Kentucky, Gophers Nation thought they were getting one of the best coaches in the country, with a national championship on his resumé. "Tubby Time" T-shirts were a hot-selling item.
Initially I felt Smith was a great hire. I didn't consider him a particularly great "game coach," but I thought he could recruit the top black athletes that we hadn't been getting in recent years.
That didn't happen. Under Tubby, the Gophers haven't had a first-team all-conference player or anyone drafted by the NBA.
The U has made some very bad financial moves the past couple of years, giving contract extensions to Smith and football coach Jerry Kill. Do sub-.500 records in the Big Ten deserve raises?
A more energetic coach is needed who can at least keep the state's top high school players from leaving.