Monday's news conference announcing the firing of Tubby Smith was in itself a major sports happening in Minnesota. But there was also a show within the show, namely the questions from the legendary Sid Hartman to atheltics director Norwood Teague.
In short, Hartman, who celebrated his 93rd birthday a few weeks back, wasn't too shy. Here's what Mr. Hartman said to Mr. Teague in this very public forum:
Sid: "I talk to recruits coming here. They think (Williams Arena) is a dump. You don't have a basketball building, which every other school in the Big 10 just about has. You have a budget which isn't as high as a lot of schools. And you got Tubby Smith ... who has recruited these kids now here for three or four years. A new coach comes in and he's got to start all over. Why couldn't you wait until next year?"
Sid: "What makes you think you can recruit a top guy? You haven't been able to recruit a number one guy for years. Jerry Kill was no 5 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. You think you're going to get the guy that UCLA wants? Or that some other top school wants? Unless you get your guy from VCU (Shaka Smart)..."
Sid: "How do you think this is going to affect your recruiting? Now your new guy comes in, you might not get a guy and you got to start all over with these guys. And the Mike Krzyzewski and the Tom Izzo's and all those people have recruited these guys all this time, and now you're going to bring in a fresh guy to compete with those guys."
The immediate reaction, via Twitter, trended anti-Hartman -- despite the fact that Sid was the only guy in the room with a statue. Here's a sample:
As for Sid, in his Star Tribune column today, he admits that he was wrong by maintaining Smith wouldn't be fired, but says Tubby would still be here if the Gophers had defeated Florida.
As for the news conference in question, you can see it all, right here: