Evans a possible SMU solution
posted: Friday, April 7, 2006 | Feedback
SMU has plenty of choices but probably should make only one to replace Jimmy Tubbs: Rob Evans.
According to the Dallas Morning News, the black community in Dallas is not pleased with Tubbs' abrupt firing Thursday after the school uncovered NCAA violations that include buying hamburgers and laundry detergent and practicing more than 20 hours a week. There could be more to come, but either way, after just two seasons on the job, Tubbs, a former Dallas high school head coach, is out.
Morning News columnist Kevin Blackistone wrote a direct and comprehensive column Friday laying out how this will affect SMU's place in the Dallas community. Tubbs was extremely popular in the area. If these allegations are true (and are the only ones), they could be considered secondary, not major violations. Blackistone also points out that Tubbs was turned in by SMU booster Max Williams, who was around during the Mustang scandal years in the 1980s. His grandson, Matt, was on Tubbs' team. Yet, Williams, according to the DMN, gave Tubbs money for player meals.
All of this is a violation under NCAA rules, but coaches have survived for worse offenses. And, if SMU is smart, they will bring the one person who can fix this mess: Evans.
Evans was a college classmate of SMU president Gerald Turner when they were at Lubbock Christian College in the mid-1960s. They are good friends. Turner hired Evans at Ole Miss. Evans, who was just fired at Arizona State, is as clean as they come. He resurrected Ole Miss and took the Rebels to the NCAA Tournament in 1997 and '98. He led the Sun Devils to the NCAAs in 2003. He didn't win enough at ASU to keep his job, but he was not fired for anything but wins and losses.
Evans is a class man and would help bridge the newly created gap between SMU and Dallas' black community. Evans is well connected within the state. Ole Miss' top player under Evans was Ansu Sesay, who was from Houston, and the Sun Devils' top player, Ike Diogu, was from Dallas.
There are other candidates interested in SMU, like Coastal Carolina's Buzz Peterson, and no one would be shocked if outgoing AD Jim Copeland or incoming AD Steve Orsini of Central Florida called up ESPN analyst Fran Fraschilla, who lives down the street from the school.
Some assistant names I'll throw out:
Tennessee assistant Scott Edgar, LSU assistant John Treloar, Florida assistant Anthony Grant, BC assistant Bill Coen.