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Vaught’s note: This is a response that “David” made to a post I had applauding UK’s decision to put former coach Tubby Smith into the UK Hall of Fame. He makes points I am sure not everyone will agree with, but wanted to make sure you had a chance to see it.
This is from vaughtsviews.com reader David:
“There is a strong argument to be made for UK to honor Tubby in this fashion. This is of course the first step in the process for Tubby to have jersey retired in his name. While I am not sure that the entire body of work warrants that distinction, Tubby most likely will have a banner in Rupp.
“While you can point to the 1998 title or the uninterupted trips to the NCAA Tournament, I believe Tubby’s greatest contribution is the manner in which he left UK. Tubby could have ripped the school — despite Smith being the one to resign — and burned bridges. As an African-American he could have said that the expectations and criticism were more a product of racism than failing to return to the Final Four.
“I don’t believe race was an issue in Tubby leaving, although ignorance and prejudice are a part of all communities in America — north, south, east or west. Tubby could have used that issue to his advantage.
“Tubby Smith, though, was better than that. Smith demonstrated class by taking the high road and moving on before the heat or pressure grew worse. If Rick Pitino can keep his banner (a different conversation for a different time) then Tubby Smith should join the ranks of the proud in the near future as well.”