Press Box: Minnesota fires Tubby Smith

The Sports Xchange
The SportsXchange


The University of Minnesota fired basketball coach Tubby Smith on Monday, the school announced.
Smith compiled a 124-81 record, including 46-62 in the Big Ten, in his six years as the Golden Gophers coach.
Minnesota won a first round game in the NCAA Tournament last week against UCLA, but new athletic director Norwood Teague is parting ways with the 61-year-old Smith and buying out his contract.
Minnesota gave Smith a three-year contract extension through the 2016-17 season last summer. He is making nearly $2 million per year.
Teague and assistant AD Mike Ellis hired Shaka Smart at Virginia Commonwealth in 2009 and will reportedly try to bring him to Minnesota to replace Smith.
Smith won a national championship in his first year at Kentucky in 1998 and is 511-226 over his 22-year coaching career.

--- Butler assistant coach Matthew Graves will be named the head coach at South Alabama, according to multiple reports.
The position opened up during the season when head coach Ronnie Arrow retired after just 10 games.

---Kansas' victory over North Carolina on Sunday had the highest rating of all the weekend's NCAA Tournament games with a 7.3 overnight Nielsen rating, Sports Business Daily reported Monday.
Overall, the tournament's coverage averaged a 7.6 overnight, the highest since 1993.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL
---NBC's "The Today Show" aired a jailhouse interview of former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky, who was convicted last year on 45 counts of sexually abusing boys.
In the interview with documentary filmmaker John Zieglar, Sandusky said that witness Mike McQueary's testimony was not accurate.
"I don't understand how anybody would have walked into that locker room, from where he was, and heard sounds associated that was sex going on," Sandusky said in the interview. "I mean, that would have been the last thing I would have thought about. I would have thought maybe fooling around or something like that."

GOLF
---Tiger Woods took over the No. 1 world ranking for the first time since October 2010 by winning the weather-delayed Arnold Palmer Invitational at Bay Hill on Monday.
Woods shot a final-round 2-under 70 to finish the tournament at 13-under - two shots ahead of Justin Rose. It was Woods' 77th career PGA Tour victory.

AUTO RACING
---Joe Gibbs Racing announced that driver Denny Hamlin has a spinal compression fracture from Sunday's crash on the final lap of the Auto Club 400 in Fontana, Calif.
Hamlin, 32, is expected to be cleared to return to his home in North Carolina and is scheduled to be examined by Dr. Jerry Petty this week. The next Sprint Cup race is April 7 at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway.