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The case for Tubby Smith

Hey everyone. Hope you're having a great second morning of March Madness.®

Let's have a little talk.

Tubby Smith's name is being discussed this morning. Logic tells me it can't happen. My telephone line says something different. To recount: Smith makes approximately $1.8 million at Minnesota right now and he has guaranteed escalators that will push his compensation to $2 million and a little beyond.

Jeff Lebo made approximately $750,000 last year.

Athletic director Jay Jacobs said last week that he was going to pay the next coach a "competitive" salary within a Southeastern Conference context. That's not breaking news.

Here's what the currently employed SEC coaches make:

  • John Calipari (UK) -- $3.9 million
  • William "Billy" Donovan (Florida) -- $3.5 million
  • Bruce Pearl (Tennessee) -- $2.4 million
  • Anthony Grant (Alabama) -- $1.8 million
  • Mark Fox (Georgia) -- $1.3 million
  • Trent Johnson (LSU) -- $1.2 million
  • Rick Stansbury (MSU) -- $1.2 million
  • Darrin Horn (S. Carolina) -- $1.1 million
  • Kevin Stallings (Vanderbilt) -- approximately $1 million
  • Andy Kennedy (Mississippi) $800,000
  • John Pelphrey (Arkansas) $795,000

Trent Johnson is the median at $1.2 million. Jacobs, though, believes that Auburn athletics should be a highly competitive enterprise everywhere. He really wants to see the basketball program thrive. There's a temptation at Auburn to supplement the football program to such an extreme degree that other sports seem excised from the whole deal.

Jacobs doesn't want it that way. This will be his first chance to promote that image in a way fans/supporters/donors care about and see.

Does that mean Tubby Smith is going to be the next Auburn coach? I told you all that two names were on that first list -- Chuck Person and Tubby Smith. If Jacobs can find a way to pay Smith something in the neighborhood of $2 million, it could happen.

Alabama is paying its coach $1.8 million. Anthony Grant is a coach I like, but Tubby Smith is a more viable commodity. He's worth $2 million or more.

Logic tells me no. Logic tells me Auburn wouldn't pay that much for someone who doesn't coach in the Iron Bowl.

Still, I've been warned to avoid applying too much logic at this stage.

EXTRA POINT: According to this story that ran in Thursday's editions of the St. Paul (Minn.) Pioneer-Press, Minnesota is in the midst of a salary freeze and cannot increase Smith's compensation. If Auburn makes a sugary-sweet offer, Minnesota will be severely limited in its ability to develop a counteroffer.

NOTE: Smith's Golden Gophers play Xavier in the NCAA Tournament beginning at 11:35 a.m. CST.


Blogger Seanzie said...

B-Ball substance.

10:06 AM  
Blogger cincytiger said...

Have a substance filled weekend!

10:06 AM  
Blogger Jay G. Tate said...

CAMPFIRE at 2 p.m. CST.

10:08 AM  
Blogger jhag said...

tubby smith huh

10:08 AM  
Blogger Seanzie said...

Jay, on your coaches list, you have (AUBURN) next to Anthony Grant.

10:08 AM  
Blogger ehyou said...

Woo Hoo!

10:08 AM  
Blogger cincytiger said...

Repost from last thread - just didn't want you to worry about where I was this weekend :)

Bye Hotties. I am out of touch until Sunday afternoon. I am headed to a weekend retreat for the Bible study I help lead. It is at the BJCC and we are staying the weekend at the Sheraton. I don't expect they have computer time built into our schedule :) And since I haven't bought my MacBppk yet, I can't check in with y'all. It will be interesting to see what my bracket looks like by Sunday!

Have a great weekend.

10:09 AM  
Blogger cincytiger said...

Maybe we will have a coach when I get back! Good stuff, Jay

10:09 AM  
Blogger Jay G. Tate said...

Sean, as Tubby would say: Thank oooooo.

10:10 AM  
Blogger Seanzie said...

I don't know how Tubby Smith would answer so I'll just say you're welcome.

10:11 AM  
Blogger michael said...

scooby dooby doo

10:17 AM  
Blogger Jay G. Tate said...

I just added a note from the Pioneer-Press about Smith and his situation at Minnesota.

10:17 AM  
Blogger michael said...

Whenever a "situation" arises, I play the Yaz song "Situation" in my head.

Hooray for the poor economy's effect on allowing Auburn to steal coaches from cash strapped schools!

10:21 AM  
Blogger Jay G. Tate said...


Don't mess around.


You bring me down.

10:27 AM  
Blogger Fearless Freep said...

So my friend's comments about 'rumblings' are more than just idle speculation.

I remember seeing JGT's post about Person and Smith, and immediately thinking "here comes the Rifleman". Now I'm not so sure.

This wouldn't be the equivalent of Bama hiring Saban, but it would be pretty similar.

10:28 AM  
Blogger Scoats said...

Weren't the issues with Tubby @ UK recruiting related (as in not being effective? And aren't a lot of AU's problems recruiting related (as in not being effective)? To me that does not compute.

10:39 AM  
Blogger Eddie said...

Tubby Smith would be a huge haul for Auburn. Count me as a big fan of this move. He could make Auburn basketball relevant.

10:39 AM  
Blogger Fearless Freep said...

After reading the Pioneer-Press piece on Smith, I have just added another name to my personal short list: Vince Taylor.

That's quite a resume he's amassed. If we end up going the 'bargain' route and hire a highly-regarded assistant, he'd be my choice.

Not to mention there's an obscure Auburn connection: VT's first coach in the NBA was Hubie Brown. Taylor played for him on the Knicks squad at the same time Hubie's daughter, with whom I was acquainted, was at AU.

10:40 AM  
Blogger Scoats said...

Forgot to close my parentheses. Sorry.

10:41 AM  
Blogger ehyou said...

Didn't close parentheses?!? Good gosh man, what were you thinking?

10:48 AM  
Blogger Scoats said...

I will hereby begin a self-imposed suspension from HABOTN Comments to last not less than one hour (or until I return from lunch)

10:54 AM  
Blogger Harrison said...

i sentence you to a year's hard labor on Michael's goat farm. Which may or may not exist

10:58 AM  
Blogger AU1N04 said...

JGT - Do you have a percentage on the likelyhood of Tubs?

11:04 AM  
Blogger michael said...

You still haven't closed it, scoats. You are still speaking parenthetically.

11:04 AM  
Blogger Norm said...

Homer bringing the Yazz and the substance.

11:10 AM  
Blogger scottie b schwarzenegger said...

crap. won't be around for the campfire. yall have fun.

i would love some TUBBY! go get 'em JJ!

11:14 AM  
Blogger E-Bro said...

Without a closed parentheses, are we caught in an echo if Scoats' silence?

11:16 AM  
Blogger E-Bro said...

of, not if.

11:16 AM  
Blogger Harrison said...

i hope the players hear about Tubby leaving and they stink it up for him today.

11:19 AM  
Blogger ehyou said...

If we want to succeed at basketball we're gonna have to start paying recruits a lot more. If we give Tubby $2 mil he could probably help with that. So I like it.

11:22 AM  
Blogger E-Bro said...

I got Minnesota in the Sweet Sixteen, so I hope not.

Of course, leave it to Auburn to ruin my bracket even when they're not in the Tourney.

Typical Auburn basketball.

11:22 AM  
Blogger scottie b schwarzenegger said...

nice e-bro. ha.

11:27 AM  
Blogger wellsAU said...

Apparently the athletic department is having Tub withdrawals. MUST HIRE TUBBY. NO ONE TO CALL TUBS. MAKE IT RAIN. AHHHH

11:27 AM  
Blogger wtc said...

Tubby has Ralph Samson's son on his team now. AU has Shawn Kemp's son coming in next year.

It means nothing but I thought I would post it.

11:36 AM  
Blogger wtc said...

Tubby has been a coach for 19 years in college and been to the tourney 16 times. That is a nice record.

Not saying JayG is wrong, but I wonder if these two names are a smoke screen? How many people were saying JJ was hiring Muschamp or Spurrier or Petrino or Nutt. This hiring process is kind of like politics. Float trial balloons and let the masses keep guessing while I go about my business behind the scenes.

I would like ot get Tubby, but I will wait until it is done before I get worked up over it and go buy season tix.

11:43 AM  
Blogger Jay G. Tate said...

I can't be wrong. I didn't say anyone has been hired. I said Smith is on the list and I know that is true.

11:52 AM  
Blogger Norm said...

I'm with Homer. I can't be wrong either, of course that's largely because I didn't say anything about it. This is a big week for me, I see I have something in common with JGT today and that I have something in common with Sir Charles earlier in the week when it was clear that neither he nor I were ever gonna be no kiss-ass brothers.

11:56 AM  
Blogger Peter Frankenschmidt said...

Seriously, though, WTC, what'd you get for less than $440 at the Yurman store? I've never gotten that lucky. Heck, my Yurman cuff links cost more than that(though I didn't buy them). I need to get on your shopping plan. The wife loves that stuff, and I always get really anxious when I have to get here something.

11:57 AM  
Blogger wtc said...

PF-it is much cheaper in Cozumel. Legit stuff though.

12:03 PM  
Blogger wtc said...

I stand corrected on my earlier post. JayG is not wrong.

12:05 PM  
Blogger Norm said...

wtc - good thing you corrected that, I was fixinta suggest your Banhammeration.

12:06 PM  
Blogger ehyou said...

Oh stewardess! I speak jive.

12:09 PM  
Blogger Peter Frankenschmidt said...

Let's go Xavier! I don't want to be patient and wait for the Tubby think to play out.

12:14 PM  
Blogger Peter Frankenschmidt said...

I love the Powerade Zero (zero calorie sports drink??). They were on sale at Publix last night. 50 cents per 32 ounce bottle = deal.

12:17 PM  
Blogger Jet With The Kiss! said...

"The case against Tubby Smith"

When I think of Tubby, I think of a Steve Spurrier, a very good coach with the landing gear down on an exemplary career.

I certainly don't have a problem spending $2.0 million a year. There are only two sports that are in position to produce revenue at Auburn, so it makes sense to invest in them.

Auburn would be better served to find the Tubby Smith that was lured away from Kentucky to go to be head coach at Tulsa, or the Tubby that was lured from Tulsa to Georgia.

The effort it will take to build Auburn cannot be purchased in one fell swoop with a "name" coach -- other than a half-dozen of the biggest of the bigs.

It will take creativity of effort and abundance of energy. I'm not sure Tubby has those things.

However, I appreciate that this can be considered "aiming high," and salute Jay Jacobs for thinking big. I hope he thinks smart, too. As for me, Tubby isn't the answer.

12:20 PM  
Blogger ehyou said...

a miser after my own heart

12:20 PM  
Blogger Peter Frankenschmidt said...

If you've got a search bar on your website, it should search your website, not provide a crappy Bing search of the whole web. If I wanted that, I'd go to

12:22 PM  
Blogger Norm said...

PF speaking words of truth. BTW, I may be getting a project for a hospital in your town. That may provide you extra incentive to move away sooner.

12:26 PM  
Blogger jhag said...


12:27 PM  
Blogger digger4au said...

Since I don't follow Basketball and don't know most of these names that are thrown around, I do recognize Tubby Smith and feel that he would do a good job for Auburn. His record is well above average and he seems to know how to coach winners. But would he come if given the call?? Hard to say.

12:31 PM  
Blogger E-Bro said...

Like I've said before, if Tubby were to get hired, I certainly wouldn't be devastated, but I think Jet Raftery hit the nail on the head with the Spurrier at South Carolina comparison.

Though that said, given USCe's relative lack of success in football, the Visor has done moderately okay. Maybe it would be the same with Tubby and Auburn.

12:37 PM  
Blogger E-Bro said...

To add to my last point, I don't think Auburn's basketball fanbase (I laughed out loud typing those last three words) would have near the expectation for Tubby that Carolina did for Spurrer.

12:38 PM  
Blogger Peter Frankenschmidt said...

Physicians Regional or Lee Memorial?

I am concerned about what my heart health is going to be later in life because 3 of 4 grandparents had surgeries during their lifetime (and the fact that I eat too much fired food), and think Naples would be a great place to have a heart attack. With all the old people down here, Physician's Regional has a top notch cardiac practice.

12:43 PM  
Blogger Norm said...

Physician's is the one being bandied about right now.

12:47 PM  
Blogger just another scottie said...

Jet, I'm with you 100%. It seems crazy, but I just don't see him as what AU needs at this time.

He may be the best "name" we could get, or the most accomplished coach AU could ever dream of, but I think AU basketball finds itself at a crossroad and needs a younger fiery coach that is a recruiting monster.

12:51 PM  
Blogger Peter Frankenschmidt said...

Well, that just helps my opinion of them. It's not like you work for a discount chinese med supply company.

12:52 PM  
Blogger Peter Frankenschmidt said...

WVU up 30 after Morgan State started the game with a 10-0 lead.

12:53 PM  
Blogger WarEagleRK said...

Bring on Tubby Smith!

1:02 PM  
Blogger Peter Frankenschmidt said...

One hour to campfirez!

1:03 PM  
Blogger Peter Frankenschmidt said...

CBS announcer just said "Tubby Smith is close to taking the Auburn coaching job."

1:10 PM  
Blogger Eddie said...

To be fair, the CBS announcer referenced the Dennis Dodd report from earlier when saying that about Tubby and Auburn.

1:12 PM  
Blogger E-Bro said...

Tubby's seemingly imminent hiring at Auburn is costing me in my bracket.

He's already off to a rocky start in my eyes.

1:14 PM  
Blogger Peter Frankenschmidt said...

To be fair, who cares? I was just mentioning that it was said on CBS.

1:14 PM  
Blogger jhag said...

I cant beleive this guy just said that in the middle of the game...said that sources reporting Tubby is close to taking the Auburn job...little premature there man

1:14 PM  
Blogger Norm said...

jhag - have you made an announcement that I missed?

1:15 PM  
Blogger Peter Frankenschmidt said...

I agree, jhag. I was shocked he said that during this game.

1:16 PM  
Blogger Peter Frankenschmidt said...

Norm, let the kid make his visit before you pressure him into a decision. Geez.

1:16 PM  
Blogger Norm said...


1:18 PM  
Blogger Peter Frankenschmidt said...

Norm Saban.

1:19 PM  
Blogger WarEagleRK said...

Why would they not mention it during the game? It's newsworthy.

1:20 PM  
Blogger Peter Frankenschmidt said...

The announcers are news people?

1:21 PM  
Blogger Norm said...

Count de Monet: "It is said the people are revolting."
King Louis XIV: "You said it! They stink on ice! Pull!"

1:25 PM  
Blogger Fearless Freep said...

Looks like we're going to find out how serious Tubby and AU are about each other sooner rather than later.

1:27 PM  
Blogger Fearless Freep said...

Game over.

1:28 PM  
Blogger Jay G. Tate said...

Anyone have some lighter fluid?

1:30 PM  
Blogger Jet With The Kiss! said...

If you read Dodd's link on, it's not exactly something that builds confidence.

1:30 PM  
Blogger Peter Frankenschmidt said...

I'm piling on the kindling.

1:33 PM  
Blogger Jet With The Kiss! said...

JayG ...

I would imagine J-Z's got some fertilizer or something like that.

1:34 PM  
Blogger SteveFC said...

Not to mention Auburn needs another coach named Tubby.

1:34 PM  
Blogger Eddie said...

PF- You're right, it's being mentioned on the air so they are now saying it, not reporting what's being said.

1:34 PM  
Blogger Peter Frankenschmidt said...

Can it be a video campfire?

1:34 PM  
Blogger Fearless Freep said...

Agreed, Jet, but our man JGT is hearing similar stuff, so I believe there are ongoing discussions between interested parties.

I think Oregon and Iowa may have something to say about Mr. Smith. We'll see.

1:34 PM  
Blogger jhag said...

I'm chopping up the wood as we speak people it will be ready in 30 minutes

1:34 PM  
Blogger E-Bro said...

My bracket is up in flames too. Could be the worst ever. I went with a lot of chalk on my bracket...except for Minnesota.

1:34 PM  
Blogger Peter Frankenschmidt said...

pre-campfire is happening over at the place...Jet's taking some nonsense.

1:36 PM  
Blogger Jet With The Kiss! said...

Oregon has a one man list, I would think.

Mark Few.

1:37 PM  
Blogger Jet With The Kiss! said...

I'm not saying there's a pre-party going on, but I'm not saying there ain't.

1:38 PM  
Blogger Eddie said...

Brand New Dennis Dodd Article

Now Dodd is referencing AuburnUndercover. That's nice. This could be a whole circle with no real facts.

1:38 PM  
Blogger Jet With The Kiss! said...

Dodd has to blame someone for this.

1:39 PM  
Blogger Jet With The Kiss! said...

Beasley - 2

1:40 PM  
Blogger Scoats said...

) Parenthesis closed. Suspension (self-imposed) lifted.

p.s. - I'm currently tied for 1st in the Bracket Challenge. That will not last.

1:40 PM  
Blogger Jet With The Kiss! said...

or plus 2

1:40 PM  
Blogger WarEagleRK said...

My bracket was DOA.

1:40 PM  
Blogger Jay G. Tate said...

I told you all about this last week.

1:44 PM  
Blogger SteveFC said...

Wasn't Roof from Minnesota? Could a pipeline be developing?

1:46 PM  
Blogger E-Bro said...

Y'all have fun with the fireside chat. I'm hittin' the road.

1:52 PM  
Blogger Jay G. Tate said...

Campfire is UPZ.

2:00 PM  
Blogger Tar Heel Tiger said...

I look forward to the embers.

7:33 PM  

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