Vols land a winner; what next for USM?
Answers to questions people are asking about Donnie Tyndall’s leaving USM for Rocky Top…
Q. For Tennessee, good hire?
A. Great hire. Tyndall can win there and he will click with their fan base. It won’t be overnight, but he’ll win and Tennessee fans will love him.
Q. I feel betrayed. D.T. said he wanted to be at USM a long time. And then he leaves, just like that. Why did he do that?
A. Like it or not, that’s the way the game is played. Donnie was recruiting players for USM when he was saying that. What did you want him to say: “I’m here unless somebody triples my salary and gives me a better chance to ge to the NCAA Tournament.”
That said, I do think Tyndall loved Hattiesburg and USM and a big part of him wanted to stay.
Here’s the deal: Ask yourself, somebody nearly triples your salary and gives you a better chance to reach the top of your profession (the Final Four) and gives you vastly better workplace facilities, what are you going to do? You don’t even have to answer.
This also puts Tyndall much closer to his daughters.
Q. So, USM loses four starters and its head coach. Back to square one?
A. No, there’s a nice mix of players returning and Tyndall recruited well this year. The key is to for the new guy, whomever he is, to put the appropriate salve on some wounded feelings. The foundation is there to build on.
Q. Was it just money?
A. I don’t know but I can guess. The money is more than double, but Tyndall surely tired of fighting the asinine unfairness of the NCAA selection committee. His USM teams won 56 games over two seasons and were 25-7 in their own league. They had a Top 30 RPI both years. And they didn’t make the NCAA Tournament.
And here’s the deal: Ask committee members why USM wasn’t picked and they’ll tell you they didn’t play a tough enough schedule. Ask Tyndall about that and he’ll tell you: “We tried. Nobody would play us.”
It’s a Catch 22. For Tyndall, it was frustrating as hell.
Q. Who’s next at USM?
A. Got no clue. This will be Bill McGillis’s first big hire at USM. He has connections all over. He needs to hit a home run and also know that if he is successful, he’ll be facing this same situation again in the not so distant future.
Let’s put it this way: There are lots of talented, eager, young head coaches who see what two years at USM did for Donnie Tyndall.