Sid Hartman blasts Gophers AD Norwood Teague over Tubby Smith firing

Sid is skeptical that Teague will be able to attract a top coach to the U of M.
Sid is skeptical that Teague will be able to attract a top coach to the U of M.

Tubby Smith has had no stronger supporter in the Twin Cities news media than the venerable Sid Hartman.

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The day Smith was fired, Hartman wrote a column titled "Firing Tubby Smith would be a big mistake." He expanded on that theme hours later during the news conference where Norwood Teague discussed Tubby's termination.

During one of a couple long-winded questions the 93-year-old Hartman put to Teague, he dissed the new Gophers athletics director as being the latest example of a recurring theme in recent U of M sports history: the hiring of mediocre candidates for high-profile coaching and administrative jobs.

Responding to Teague's stated desire to hire a "terrific coach" who can compete nationally for top high school prospects, Hartman offered up this question (emphasis mine):

What makes you think you can recruit a top guy that you haven't been able to recite a number one guy for years; Jerry Kill was number five on the list, four football coaches turned him down. I don't know what number you were, but I tell you what, this school has not been able to attract top guys. Do you think that you're going to get the guy that UCLA wants or some other top school wants, unless you get your guy from VCU?

To his credit, Teague handled Hartman's awkward question smoothly, saying, "We are going to look for the right fit for the program" and "If we live in the past, we are going to get drug down by the past. We have to look forward."

The next men's basketball coach will be Teague's first high-profile hire, so we'll soon have more to work with in evaluating how much wisdom Hartman's diss contains.

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