Golden Nugz for 3-31-09

In case you wandered the Internet yesterday and saw rumors of Tubby Smith's rumored imminent departure for the University of Virginia, fear not. Tubby isn't headed to Charlottesville.

As the Minnesota Daily notes, the only current big opening is Arizona. Alabama nabbed VCU's Anthony Grant and UVA hired Tony Bennett. But I expect the carousul to continue once Kentucky officially makes a hire.

Back to the Tubby Smith to UVA melodrama, I just have to point out that various Web sites, from forums to mainstream newspapers, chased rumors Monday that a private jet bound for Charlottesville was going to (NOT) take Tubby to the commonwealth of Virginia. You can't make this up. From Charley Walters:

There had been a flood of speculation that Smith was leaving today to check out the Cavaliers job. A message-board post on thesabre.com, a Web site covering the program, showed that a private jet was scheduled to leave Holman Field in St. Paul this afternoon bound for Charlottesville, home of the University of Virginia. It turned out to be a coincidence, but media members gathered at Holman Field, wondering whether the flight would be transporting Smith — or Virginia officials or boosters back home after trying to woo Smith.

Actually, the flight in question was a Flight Options private jet scheduled to fly empty to Charlottesville to pick up passengers and transport them elsewhere, according to co-pilot Jeff Filler of Portland, Ore., but was canceled because another plane was found for the pickup.

Asked if he was aware of the possibility of flying Tubby Smith to Virginia, Filler said, "Who is this person, Toby Smith?" Told it was Tubby Smith, he said, "I don't know anything about this."

Anyway, this is why we're not going to chase every inch of every rumor here. We'll try to be a filter for the news, and a random jet headed from St. Paul to Charlottesville won't usually make the cut.

Jeff Filler of Portland, Ore and Toby Smith? Classic reporting.

  • The STrib's Myron Medcalf writes that "Never say never is convenient for Tubby." Of course it is. But at this point I think Tubby wants a larger committment from the U--and I'm not talking about a bigger pay check. I think he wants an indication that the U's brass will commit in other respects to building a top-shelf program. Just my take trying to read between the lines.
  • Add AP Player of the Year to Mike Bruesewitz' resume. He's joined on the All-State first team by Minnesota commits Royce White and Rodney Williams and by Osseo's Sam Dower, a Gonzaga commit.
  • Xzavian Brandon, one of last seasons wide receiver recruits we had hoped to see more of, is looking to make a name for himself in his sophomore season, Marcus Fuller reports. Brandon apparently took to watching his high school teammate, Ralph Sampson III, play on the hardwood during the basketball season.
  • Longtime football season ticket holders are none too happy to see prices increase, according to this piece from WCCO. I'm not a season ticket holder as I live out of state. But I have to state that I think it should be obvious that prices are going to increase somewhat in a new stadium.
  • College coaches should honor their contracts? LOL. What seems like ages ago, I once wrote a column about this and concentrated on Brenda Frese leaving the U for Maryland. It's not going to change.
  • According to this Clemson beat writer, the Gophers will be a nice NCAA resume boosting type of opponent next year .... if Tubby Smith stays. Both Clemson and Minnesota are part of an 8-team early season tournament in California.
  • Three straight weeks now the Gophers baseball team is ranked in the Top 25. The team is at home this week for a game with Northern Iowa on Wedneseday at the Dome before hosting Ohio State this weekend.
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