Rumors that Jimmy Tubbs was the second coming of Dean Smith are grossly exaggerated. You can like Jimmy Tubbs or you can hate him, but he accomplished little in his (albeit) brief tenure of SMU. The one positive thing I can say about Jimmy Tubbs is at least he beat TCU. Recruiting was not improved. You can argue that SMU is worse off today than it was when Tubbs came (the RPI supports that). Yet you can also argue that his firing hurt the program even more. In fact, you can argue both and still be right.
Quit freaking out over why he was fired! NCAA violations had something to do with it. OK? Performance on the court had something to do with it. OK? Is something else going to come out? Yes. OK? Is the next revelation going to pacify those opposed to this decision? I doubt it. OK? At the end of the day, Jimmy Tubbs is gone. He must be replaced. That is all that matters.
Quit freaking out over who made the decision! For one, it doesn’t really matter. First, the suggestion that outgoing athletic director Copeland wanted to “do something big before he left” is idiotic. The decision to terminate Tubbs’ contract will cost an athletic department that already runs a large deficit $600,000.00. Only the crazy and the dumb can suggest that an athletic director that is retiring in two months and has already sold his house can make a decision that will increase the athletic department deficit by 20% without going through President Turner.
Second, only a moron would suggest Turner didn’t at least run this by Orsini ahead of time. Undoubtedly, based on what Orsini knew, he agreed with the decision. Orsini is not on the job, but the future performance of his job at SMU is tied to that aforementioned athletic deficit, among other things. You are out of your mind if you don’t think Orsini had something to say on the subject.
Third, of all the wacky rumors out there, the only one that makes any sense to me is that Orsini insisted that Tubbs get the ax and didn’t want to be the one to do it. The other day, I alluded to the Parcells-Emmitt Smith situation as an example. However, I don’t buy this rumor. Why? That $600,000.00 buyout figure mentioned above. Orsini, when he takes this job, will need flexibility to hire and fire anybody. Frankly, I would suggest that if Bennett isn’t at least 7-5 next year, I will have seen enough. And the flexibility to buy out Bennett is now gone because Tubbs has been bought out. This bothers me very little because I believe Bennett will do better than 7-5 in 2006. Still, the flexibility is important. And that is why I don’t think Orsini insisted Tubbs be let go. And another thing, if that were true, wouldn’t Orsini be here now running the show on the new hire? BTW, …
Quit freaking out over who is going to make the decision on the next coach! It won’t be Copeland. OK? Again, athletic directors with one foot out the door don’t get to make million dollar decisions unilaterally. Quit thinking that they do. Even if Copeland is involved in the process, the new coach will be rubberstamped by both Turner and Orsini. The one problem I have is that Orsini is not in Dallas today. I have mentioned this before, but I think the best process is to give Orsini a checkbook and give him free reign on this decision, meaning no search committees. Go hire a coach ASAP.
Speaking of hiring a coach ASAP, quit freaking out over the timing of the decision! First, the spring signing day for basketball is overrated. The only SMU targets are borderline prospects. Second, there are still multiple openings (here’s the list). But of those openings, SMU is superior to many of them. The best two jobs open are OU and NC State, and depending on what you read, you can cross out NC State and replace it with Memphis. After that, you’ve got Temple and a host of others. SMU, can and will be competitive with any school on that list save OU and NC State/Memphis. Third, Turner has said that the SMU policy of leaving jobs open thirty days can be waived in some cases; I suspect this is such a case.
Calm down. It is time to focus on who SMU is going to get. I will be focusing on that from here on out.