The Dagger - NCAAB

At a time when instant feedback has become the norm in America, the backlash against Missouri's coaching hire still came shockingly swiftly.

Word leaked just before midnight on Sunday night that Missouri was close to an agreement with Miami coach Frank Haith. Within hours, irate Tigers fans flooded Internet forums with threads calling for athletic director Mike Alden's firing and launched phone and email campaigns urging the school's board of curators not to approve Haith's contract.

The negativity of Missouri fans toward the hiring is a product of both Haith's seven mediocre seasons at Miami and of raised expectations after a failed bid to pluck Matt Painter from Purdue.

Once Painter pulled out of the running for the Missouri job last week, the thought was the Tigers would turn their attention to VCU coach Shaka Smart or perhaps a more affordable but still desirable candidate like Wichita State's Gregg Marshall. Instead the choice was Haith, who has amassed a forgettable 129-101 record at Miami, went 43-69 in ACC play and took the Hurricanes to just one NCAA tournament since 2004.

Whether Haith can match or exceed predecessor Mike Anderson's track record may determine Alden's job security at Missouri. Alden was already unpopular with many alumni after the Tigers' failed attempt to join the Big Ten last year and after he allowed word of Missouri's interest in Painter to leak yet failed to land him.

It's possible Haith will do better at Missouri than his resume suggests since he has previous ties to the Big 12 and since it's certainly not easy to win big at a school that shows as little commitment to basketball as Miami. On the other hand, it's telling that many Hurricanes fans rejoiced at the news of Haith's resignation late Sunday night and that Miami officials reportedly won't ask for any buyout money.

Haith inherits a Missouri program that underachieved and lost in the first round of the NCAA tournament to Cincinnati this season but returns the core of its roster and has the talent to be a dark horse Final Four contender next season. The pressure on Haith to succeed next season will be immense, both to get the fans on his side and prove to recruits that he's capable of keeping this job.

When Missouri guard Kim English saw some of the tweets about Haith that appeared on his timeline late Sunday night, the junior wrote, "Wow. Awfully Disappointed in the response that some Mizzou fans are giving."

It's fair to ask for fans' support, but give them some time to process the news. This was a shocking hire nobody saw coming.

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