When Tubby Smith left the University of Kentucky to replace Dan Monson at the U, we provincial Northerners sneered at you.
Sorry. I meant to say, "Y'all.''
We assumed that if a coach of Smith's stature decided to leave one of the five greatest programs in college basketball, it had to be the fault of obsessive fans who have been known to spend entire evenings second-guessing the execution of a first-half inbounds play.
We figured a pungent blend of idiocy and racism drove Smith from a university built for and around basketball greatness, a place where he won a national title and his son played point guard.
Our suspicions were not baseless. Drive through Kentucky, and you still can find the odd Confederate flag and a museum featuring a dinosaur wearing a saddle, celebrating the belief that man and Magnosaurus co-existed.
To those Kentucky fans who based their assessment of Smith on facts and trends, though, let us apologize. You were right.
Four seasons after his arrival, Smith's tenure at the University of Minnesota is officially a disappointment.
Kentucky fans complained that Smith runs no discernible offense.
That he failed to recruit outstanding talent.
That his program had lost momentum and had slid into mediocrity.
Concenred Fans knew 4 years ago when Minnesota hired Tubby Smith away from UK, that UK would be the big winner, and Minnesota would learn the truth about Tubby Smith soon enough, probably within 4 years. Some of our members even said that Tubby Smith would not survive at Minnesota more than 5 years. February 13, 2011 is about 1 month shy of 4 years, and almost 1 year to the day since our Member, Badboy [Dynasty Defender screen name] issued the following OPEN LETTER TO MINNESOTA BASKETBALL FANS.
2. Join Concerned Fans [As of March 22, 2007
With the Announcement that Tubby Smith is Leaving UK
Concerned Fans Closed Its Membership Roles.
This link is no longer active for that reason.
Any Fan interested in Reviewing the
Concerned Fans Activities May do so
using the "Concerned Fans" Navigation Button
in the Left Frame
"From what I've read, he's a real hard worker," said Jerry Hale , a UK player in the 1970s. "He's proven that right off the bat Coach ( Tubby ) Smith was a little complacent. I don't know if his heart was in it.
"Coach Gillispie has the right attitude to get Kentucky back to elite status."
Richard Cheeks , the adjunct professor who served as a spokesman for the fan group that sought a change in coaches, is pleased.
"I'm tickled to death," he said. "I love his work ethic, the energy, the excitement he's brought to the program."
Cheeks, who like Hale has not met Gillispie, likened the new coach to the Kentucky basketball icon: Adolph Rupp .
"There's a total commitment and interest in basketball," Cheeks said. "And he wants people around him to share that commitment."
"When a Kentucky baby is born
his mother wants him to be president,
like anothe Kentuckian,
If not president, she wants him
to play basketball
for the University of Kentucky."
Concerned Fans For UK Basketball believe that Tubby Smith is not Good For UK Basketball and that Tubby Smith should move on sooner, rather than later. We have explained the basis for this Opinion in the Editorial entitled:
"Why Concerned Fans For UK Basketball
Believe Tubby Smith Should Resign"
You can read this entire Editorial using the "Editorials" Navigation button in the left frame of this page and following the links. When you are done, you will have an opportunity to add your name, as a Co-Signer of this Editorial, to the Growing Group of Concerned Fans.
Please Add your Voice to Ours, so Together We can Speak in a Unified way about this Important Issue. In this way, other fans, the Press, the Boosters, and the UKAA will hear from Concerned Fans and know that UK Basketball Fans want a coaching change NOW.
The Low Point of 2005-06
UK v Kansas
Dick Vitale's Comments About
Tubby Smith's Team After Concerned Fans issued their press release on June 7, 2006,
Dick Vitale appeared on Lexington radio to provide Tubby Smith
complete support, and characterized Richard Cheeks,
spokesperson for Concerned Fans, as a whacko.
So be it, but listen to how Dick Vitale described the
quality of performance of Tubby's team last season.
Many UK Basketball fans are concerned about the current state of the UK Program after nine years with Tubby Smith as Head Coach. On June 7, 2006, these Concerned Fans emerged from the background and issued a Press Release to leading journalists to set out the basis for these concerns. View the entire Press release with the following link:
Did you know that the quality of play declined immediately after the Pitino to Smith coaching change during the summer of 1997? Did you know that the quality of play by UK's basketball teams since this coaching change has continued to slide? Did you know that even during the 1998 championship season [Tubby's first year at UK] that Tubby tried to immediately install his Tubby Ball, but the players reverted to the Pitino Ball they knew could win. To learn more,
Concerned Fans believe that Tubby Smith has had nine seasons to demonstrate his ability, and he has done so effectively. That is why Concerned Fans believe that Tubby Smith is not good for the UK basketball program. However, the UK Administration has made other decisions.
What will happen to the UK program should Tubby Smith be allowed to complete his current contract, through 2011, if the trends of the last 9 years continue for the next 5 years? To learn more,