Tubby Smith

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Congratulations Kevin Ollie!

Congratulations University of Connecticut!  
Kevin Ollie’s UConn (University of Connecticut) basketball team was crowned national champion Monday, April 7. They beat the University of Kentucky, 60-54. And how very special: UConn women won, too. This is only the second time in history that both the men’s and women’s Division I basketball titles won during the same year by same school. Continue Reading →

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Gopher fans’ website doesn’t play fair


Some all-sports websites and fan “chat rooms” are as fair and balanced as Fox News. MSR Columnist Ron Edwards recently was double-roasted by readers on GopherHole.com, a pro-Minnesota college sports website. Edwards is regularly featured on the editorial page. His column on former Minnesota coaches Clem Haskins’ and Tubby Smith’s treatment as Gopher coaches (“Was it Tubby Smith’s fault?” March 27) got reposted on the site and drew seismic-like comments, some of which crossed the line of fairness. It’s unfortunate that many readers on that site totally missed Edwards’ main points: Black coaches, whether in Minnesota or elsewhere, are unfairly held to double standards unlike their White counterparts, and many U of M Black players left the school with bad tastes in their mouths. Continue Reading →

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Greater diversity unlikely in post-Borton Gopher women’s basketball



Thus far, Gopher AD Norwood Teague is two-for-two in firing coaches in consecutive years. He fired Pam Borton as the school’s women’s basketball coach, seemingly less than 24 hours after her last game last week. She got the ziggy in less time than Tubby Smith got axed around this same time nearly a year ago. Borton was my fifth coach I covered as the longest tenured Gopher women hoops beat writer, She had her faults — no coach is perfect, and for whatever reason, she couldn’t convince too many local Black females to play for her.  

Former Gopher Leah Cotton, who played for Borton (2010-13), recently spoke to the MSR while in town for the team’s Senior Night March 2. Continue Reading →

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Was it Tubby Smith’s fault?

Gophers miss 2014 NCAA Basketball Tournament


A year ago this month, the Minnesota Gophers Men’s Basketball team played in the NCAA Basketball tournament. The African American Head Coach, Tubby Smith, had retooled the team. It was on the move again. But even when 15-1, Star Tribune started a series of negative, anti-Tubby columns. To his credit, Sid Hartman didn’t agree (writing the day before Smith was fired that it would be a “big mistake by the Gophers”). Continue Reading →

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Richard Pitino’s Gophers are struggling!

University of Minnesota this year has assistant basketball coaches now making $175,000. Last year under Tubby Smith, not one of his coaches was paid over $125,000. Remember, Jimmy Williams was not permitted to be an assistant coach for Tubby Smith for some frivolous violation. And the university battled in court paying big money to keep Williams off the staff. Athletic Director Norwood Teague fired Smith a year ago because Smith suggested the program needed a practice facility. Continue Reading →

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Keep Pam: Firing Gopher women’s basketball coach won’t solve team’s problems

I’ve been approached of late by several Gopher women’s basketball fans. I listen attentively but with a non-committal demeanor as they complain about the current head coach. And as much as they’d hoped I would agree with them, thus far I have avoided such traps. Let me be perfectly clear — I don’t advocate for any coaches losing their jobs. It’s so easy for non-coaches, eh, fans to give ziggies from their seats. Continue Reading →

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Twins turnaround indefinitely postponed

 After the annual media pre-season luncheon, Minnesota Twins GM Terry Ryan told the two MSR beat writers that the team had to turn things around this season. As it turned out, Ryan appears to have been directionally challenged. The 2013 Twins season concluded on Sunday with a crashing halt, losing their final six contests to finish 30 games below .500 (66-96), its third straight near-100-losses campaign in as many tries. This doesn’t show turnaround progress, but rather stuck-in-reverse regression. Although he has to take some responsibility, it certainly isn’t all Ron Gardenhire’s fault — the Twins on Monday extended his contract through the 2015 season. Continue Reading →

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‘Scheme of dreams’ unveiled post-Tubby

By Charles Hallman

Staff Writer


Former University of Minnesota AD Joel Maturi once likened the rise in upgrading college athletic facilities to “an arms race.” However, it might be better termed as keeping up with the Joneses. Current U of M AD Norwood Teague pledged in July that he would be “aggressive and committed” to building a new on-campus athletic facility. “We need this,” he said of the $190 million proposed football, basketball and training facility. The “Taj Ma-Norwood” is much grander in scale than the promised practice facility that never came to former Gopher men’s basketball coach Tubby Smith while he was here. But somehow, just a few months after firing Smith, Teague can now unveil his privately-funded “Scheme of dreams.”

Somehow such dollars are finding their way to Gopherville now that a White coach is on the sidelines? Continue Reading →

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Congratulations, Tubby!


 Texas Tech hires Tubby Smith while U of M keeps looking

There is no mystery about the well-designed plan to oust six-year U of M Gopher men’s basketball Head Coach Tubby Smith. Well designed, but ill-advised and poorly executed, as seen in various Star Tribune headlines Monday, March 25 through Monday, April 1. 25th: “Firing Smith would be big mistake by Gophers” (Sid Hartman)

26th: “Tubby out, U search in high gear” (Dennis Brackin)

26th: “U: time for a change”

26th: “Tubby’s best not enough”

27th: “Mn in position like sleeping giant”

28th: “Search moves on; Smart to stay at VCU”

29th: “U leaders mold coaching network”

30th: “Stop fretting, Flip [Saunders] is the right fit”

31st: “Flip says no to U”

1st: “Tubby Smith to Texas Tech; Minnesota search continues”

1st: “Minnesota basketball coaching job: Who wants it?”

Have you wondered, as I have, as to why, even when the Gophers were 15-1, the Star Tribune’s little lady from North Carolina [by way of short stints — after graduating from college — at the Boston Globe and the Detroit Free Press] was so hostile in her sports coverage of U basketball? Sources within the U as well as Minneapolis sports scene movers and shakers enable us to connect the dots. The announcement that Tubby found a new job April 1 at Texas Tech was no April Fool’s joke. Continue Reading →

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Twins’ diversity talk seems mostly for show




A new movie on the life of Jackie Robinson premieres Friday. It has support from people in high places. “We think that everybody in this country needs to watch this movie,” advises First Lady Michelle Obama on the movie 42 after she and her husband, President Barack Obama viewed a private screening last week at the White House. The first of several Minnesota Twins “Diversity Days” will be Monday April 15, the day Major League Baseball (MLB) annually honors Robinson’s major league debut in 1947. “It was an important and powerful moment in baseball when Jackie Robinson broke in with the Brooklyn Dodgers,” recalls Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig. Continue Reading →

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