Tennessee athletic director Dave Hart came to the conclusion late last night that he would have to fire men’s basketball head coach Donnie Tyndall.
“This is not the outcome I had in mind when I stood before you a year ago,” Hart told the media. “One of the things we strive for is stability. That being said, this decision is the right decision.”
The University of Tennessee has reason to believe that Tyndall will face significant punishment from the NCAA when it concludes its investigation into the Southern Miss program, which Tyndall headed for two years.
“I bear responsibility for this situation,” said Hart. “I was convinced at the time of the hiring that Donnie had learned from his mistakes. I thought he was a great fit.”
The mistakes Hart is referring to was what occurred at Morehead State University five years ago. The NCAA placed the program on probation for two years for recruiting violations related to booster activity, and the program also self-imposed their own penalties.
Along with the Morehead State infractions and the Southern Miss infractions, the termination letter, obtained by the News Sentinel, states that Tyndall deleted emails of NCAA interest this year, which could result in a charge of failure to cooperate, a Level I violation.
The Tyndall era has ended in disaster, leaving an unstable program reeling as they will look to hire their third coach in three years.
As far as the criteria for the new coach, it will be the same as last year’s search, except for one detail.
“I will not consider a candidate with a questionable background,” said Hart. “We are looking for a candidate with a track record of success and someone that has enthusiasm. We want a coach that recognizes that they are a visible ambassador for the school and loves people. He also, of course, needs to be able to recruit.”
Some coaches who’s names are being thrown around early to replace Tyndall are Bobby Hurley, coach at Buffalo, Tad Boyle, coach at Colorado, and even ESPN analyst Seth Greenberg.
Edited by Maggie Jones