Sports

Tubby Smith Fired From Memphis After Two Seasons

Tubby Smith Fired From Memphis After Two Seasons

(Terms of his buyout will be updated when made available.) Smith announced he is no longer the Tiger head coach after a brief meeting Wednesday morning with U of M president David Rudd.

The University of Memphis is overhauling its basketball program, and in the process, it is reportedly going to make the most famous player in school history its head coach.

This story will be updated. "Details are to be finalized, and no further comment will be offered", a statement from the athletic department read. The Tiger job would be the first college gig for Hardaway who happens to be a few months older than Finch was when he was sacked by the university after the 1996-97 season. Tubby Smith, looking to run a clean program and not risk NCAA violations, fired Keelon Lawson and nearly immediately, the local media declared Smith a problem for Memphis basketball.

Smith finishes his time at Memphis with a 40-26 record. Now 66, Smith leaves without taking Memphis to any postseason tournament in his two seasons. Both years, the Tigers missed the post season.

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Three years and $9.75 million remain on Smith's contract.

Attendance dropped to 6,225 this season, Memphis' lowest attendance since 1969-70 and putting the university at risk of missing out on a $800,000 payment from the NBA's Memphis Grizzlies who control the FedExForum. With attendance at its lowest in almost 50 years, the university may be willing to eat that cost to turn things around in other spots. Reports from last week indicated that the university would look to replace head coach Tubby Smith with former Tigers great Penny Hardaway. Hardaway now coaches an AAU team and also coaches Memphis East High School, which will be playing for a third straight Tennessee Class AAA title this week.

Beyond that, CBS Sports reported, season-ticket sales are down significantly, which means donations connected to season-ticket sales are also down more than $1 million.

If Memphis is unable to hire Hardaway, it's likely that another team comes calling.


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