When Tubby Smith left Lexington suddenly in the spring of 2007, he was called a lot of things by a lot of people, but most would agree that he left with, if nothing else, a pristine reputation. But, after just three seasons in Minneapolis, the Tubby that Gopher fans are seeing isn’t the one that people got to know in Lexington and today might have been the greatest example yet of how tough of a run it’s been for Coach Smith since he left Kentucky.
Just a few hours after troubled recruit Trevor Mbakwe officially ended his relationship with Minnesota by announcing he would seek a transfer, a video of an apparently waffling and uncomfortable Smith was shown in a Minnesota court room where he is defending himself from a lawsuit filed by Jimmy Williams, a former Oklahoma State assistant that says he had an agreement to join Tubby’s staff at Minnesota. According to Williams, he resigned his position with the Cowboys after being told he was hired by Smith, but would never join the staff after Minnesota administrators wouldn’t sign off on his hiring due to his involvement in NCAA violations at the school in the 1970s.
But, where might Tubby’s defense lie? How about with the one and only Jai Lucas, who was apparently the subject of a proposed recruiting trip by Tubby to Williams. According to Tubby, he recruited Lucas for Kentucky and not Minnesota. This, of course, why he ended up at Florida. Boom! UK joke from 2007!