Yes, Georgia Tech finally decided to bite the bullet and pay the buyout necessary to send Hewitt packing. That terms of Hewitt's buyout aren't immediately available, but Hewitt is likely to receive up to $7 million from Georgia Tech in the offing.Yahoo! picked up the story a little later than others. They cited our attendance and poor performance as the straw that broke the camel hair jacket's back:
In the end, the financial impact of a half-filled arena for Georgia Tech’s home games overwhelmed the $7.2 million buyout Hewitt will be paid over five years.
Athletic director Dan Radakovich said at a press conference Saturday that he hopes to hire a coach before the Final Four, which begins on April 2 in Houston.
Jason Kirk of SBN ATL has been killing the coverage of Paul Hewitt. He was the first guy to break the news in the blogosphere. Jason's stream of news has some great info.
The big guns of ATL news aka the Macon Telegraph and the AJC have been diving head first into the firing. Coley Harvey questioned Iman Shumpert about his future to which he received some justfiably vague answers:
"I had heard stuff," Shumpert said, citing season-long rumors. "It sort of caught me off guard (Saturday). Maybe because it’s that it just happened so fast after the game."A recurring theme around a lot of these articles has been Hewitt's disappointment in the Georgia Tech fan base. I find it to be a sad defensive tactic. The fan base gave him a lot (11 years to build a program). He had several soldout seasons but his teams failed to perform consistently. I think most people would agree that college hoop fans don't want to see one and dones. They want to see regular season wins, which translates into higher tourney seeds, which translates into more post season success. Hewitt made it clear all along that he wanted the best players at Tech no matter the length of their stay in school. I think Jeff Schultz points out the obvious here:
So where does the program go from here?
For Shumpert that question cannot be answered just yet. Some time in the next two months, after meeting with Hewitt’s successor, the guard will decide whether he wants to return for his senior season or go on to the NBA. It is a point he will debate frequently internally and with family. There are pros and cons for either decision.
Hewitt was fired as Tech’s basketball coach Saturday. Some of this is about bottom-line results. Hewitt had five winning records and four NCAA tournament berths in his first seven seasons; only one winning record and a tournament appearance in the next four. Even the greatest coaches can go through down periods and survive, but that requires creating a positive atmosphere and giving off signals that a turnaround was imminent.What do you all think? Has Georgia Tech been unfair with the termination of Hewitt? During Hewitt's tenure, he only outperformed Miami, Clemson, and Virginia in terms of ACC wins and losses. During Hewitt's tenure, he was one of only 4 ACC coaches to get to a Final 4. Hewitt dropped more games to Georgie than he won but he also had a winning record against national powerhouse North Carolina. What are your thoughts? Any regrets?
Hewitt didn’t do that. He left little impression that he could do that. Positive energy hasn’t existed around Georgia Tech’s basketball program for the past few years. He would blame critics for that. Critics would blame him. Regardless of where the blame lay, perception was reality.