There are plenty of people who are upset that the University of Minnesota men’s basketball team fell on its face this season, but you’d have to be cold-hearted not to feel bad for the way coach Tubby Smith was fired.
At his news conference late this afternoon, U of M athletic director Norwood Teague confirmed that he didn’t tell Smith he was being fired until this afternoon, hours after someone at the U leaked the news to the media.
“Everything leaks. you don’t …that’s just the way it is,” Teague said. Nobody asked the obvious follow-up question.
He didn’t offer an apology for the leak, however, shortly after making it clear that he feels Smith is “a great human being.”
Once Teague made his move, it raced around among U officials before Smith got the word.
Based on Teague’s indicated timetable, it appears that Board of Regents chair Linda Cohen was the first U official to confirm the firing. She says she got a call from the university president at 8 this morning saying the firing would take place today. Cohen’s confirmation, however, came well after someone with a pipeline to a CBS sports reporter in New York had already passed along the tip.