Memphis men’s basketball coach Tubby Smith, who quit his job at Texas Tech to take his current position in 2016, went off on NCAA transfer regulations following the last game of his regular season on Sunday, saying that relaxed transfer rules “teach (players) how to quit.”
Smith was asked by a reporter about his confidence that much of his team would return for the next season, since six Memphis players transferred after Smith’s first failed season last year. In response, the coach told a story about his dad refusing to let him come home from High Point when he was a freshman there, which he called the “best thing he ever said to me.”
“Somebody needs to tell (transfers), ‘You made a commitment. Stick to it.’ But it doesn’t happen like that. They have a lot of people in their ear. That’s the way life is,” said Smith, who also coached at Kentucky for a decade before quitting his job to go to Minnesota.
“Those are the distractions, the noise. You can just put that in a box and keep the noise away like I do,” added the coach, who made a name for himself as a winner at Georgia before quitting that gig to run Kentucky.
Smith’s 19-12 Memphis team will not make the NCAA Tournament this year, barring a miracle run in the American Athletic Conference Tournament. That means Smith won’t be able to add to his resume of postseason success, which dates back all the way to two Sweet Sixteen runs in ’94 and ’95 when he coached at Tulsa, before he quit to take the job at Georgia.