After winning an NCAA Tournament game for the Golden Gophers in 2013, Tubby Smith was fired a few weeks later by new Minnesota athletic director Norwood Teague. It was weird. It was even weirder when Richard Pitino replaced him. But really, it was much worse.
Pam Borton was one of Tubby’s former Minnesota colleagues. Now the former women’s basketball coach is publishing a book about her time in the college ranks. When discussing Norwood Teague and Tubby’s untimely departure, she holds nothing back.
“Tubby’s firing was a lesson in how not to do things,” Borton writes. “There wasn’t a communication plan in place and the conduct of the University was an embarrassment, full of disrespect, and a disgrace to a great man whose character, integrity and professionalism were unassailable.”
Just wait, it gets worse.
“Tubby’s name was scrolling across ESPN’s sports-ticker at the bottom of the television screen and his phone was ringing off the hook before the athletic director gave him the news. … He was asked to vacate the building that day and his office belongings and boxes would be delivered to his house.”
The awfulness is only compounded when you consider how great of a guy Tubby Smith is. Since Teague made that rookie mistake, he abruptly resigned in 2015 amid sexual harassment allegations.