Tubby Smith announced Wednesday he will not be Oklahoma's next basketball coach.
This is a wise move. This also is a blessing in disguise.
This is a wise move because Smith can now reclaim his reputation.
Smith's character has been dragged up and down the Turner Turnpike the past few days.
He promised he'd stay at Tulsa. He gave us his word.
No, he didn't.
Yes, he did.
No, we agreed he could keep his options open.
No, we didn't.
Yes, we did.
Enough already. A man tries to further his career and people talk trash about him. That's not right. That's not fair.
Smith is where he belongs - back in Tulsa, back in good graces.
He's a good guy, a good coach and he's got a good team. Together they'll grow. Viva la Hurricane.
This is a blessing in disguise because OU no longer is working under an imaginary shot-clock while trying to replace Billy Tubbs.
This entire interview process has been far too hectic.
Where's the fire? What's the hurry?
Oooh, national signing day was Wednesday.
Big deal. So what.
Who's running the show here, OU's athletic department or some can't-miss recruit who hasn't signed yet?
OU officials need to spend two or three weeks on the selection process, not two or three days.
Tubbs - whether you're willing to admit this or not - made Oklahoma a big-time basketball school.
"It's one of the top 25 programs in the country, no question about it," Oklahoma State coach Eddie Sutton said.
OU owes it to itself to hold a thorough nationwide search.
Who's on the list?
"There is no list," OU athletic director Donnie Duncan said, "but we've got to take the time to get to know the others (candidates). " Who's to say Smith would have been the right man for the job?
He's been courted before.
He tap-danced around a job offer at Houston last year. There have been other offers. Maybe Smith did some dancing around the OU job, too.
There's no denying Smith is a hot commodity. He's young, accessible and obtainable. He's not at a high-profile school, which leaves room to move up the payscale ladder.
But keep in mind, Smith got hot simply because his team got hot for two games in the NCAA Tournament.
Tulsa supposedly was the 63rd team chosen for the 64-team NCAA field last month. Charleston (S.C.) was believed to have been the lone at-large team taken after TU.
If the Golden Hurricane hadn't received that NCAA bid, how hot would Smith be now?
If TU hadn't beat two underachieving teams in the Midwest Regional at the Myriad (UCLA and OSU), how hot would Smith be now?
Prior to the NCAA Tournament, the Hurricane lost to Northern Iowa in the Missouri Valley Tournament. How hot was Smith then?
Remember, OSU beat Smith and Co. by 12 in Tulsa earlier in the year.
Remember, Tubbs' mediocre Sooners thrashed Smith and Co. by 19 for the All College Tournament title in December.
It's OK to remember TU's success in the Midwest Regional.
But two games do not a season make. And two games should not warrant a coach getting a job for which he might be underqualified.
These are not knocks against Smith, per se. This is how the hiring process often works. It's crazy.
It'll take further success for Smith to prove he's not a flash-in-the-pan.
Tubbs had 12 straight 20-win seasons at OU. That's not a flash, that's proof.
If TU goes .500 next season, how hot is Smith?
Oklahoma needs to aim high - a big-name coach from a big-name school who likely will seek big-time bucks.
Will OU cough up the cash?
"We're in the ballgame," Duncan said of competing with what other colleges might offer. "But if that's the only consideration, then he (the candidate) is probably not the right man for here. " BIOG: NAME:Archive ID: 572002