January 4th, 2013 09:29 AM║ Posted By: John Pennington ║ Permalink
║ Schools: Arkansas, Mississippi State, Ole Miss, Tennessee
Tags: CORRECTION, Mississippi State, Ole Miss, Tigers Vols, UT
Memphis coach Josh Pastner has put himself front and center this week by repeatedly stating that he would kill off the Memphis-Tennessee basketball series after the two teams meet tonight in Knoxville. No surprise. He’s been saying for the past couple of years that he doesn’t want Arkansas, Mississippi State, Ole Miss or Tennessee coming into his city, playing basketball, and possibly wooing a recruit or two while there.
A few of Pastner’s quotes regarding the Tigers-Vols series:
1. “The facts are, this will be the last year of the series unless we play them in the postseason. Now obviously, if any of my bosses want to play them, that’s… Me, as the head coach, the series is over, the contract is over, let’s move on.”
2. “We will not play Tennessee anymore as long as I’m the head coach and I’m doing my scheduling.”
3. “The contract’s ending, we have a new athletic director and he and I are on the same page with it.”
Three strikes, you’re out.
Someone might need to get a spatula to help Pastner get the egg off of his face. As it turns out, Memphis AD Tom Bowen said yesterday — one day after Pastner’s Quote #3 above — that he and UT athletic director Dave Hart are still discussing a continuation of the series.
Bowen told The Memphis Commercial Appeal, “We are re-evaluating everything.” He added: “The Tennessee game is important. They’d come to our place next. So there’s an advantage there.”
Pastner’s response when The Commercial Appeal caught up with him about the apparent flip-flop: “I’d rather you call Tom Bowen on that.”
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