Saturday, March 28, 2009


That Anthony Grant has landed at Alabama isn't all that surprising, especially after it became clear Billy Donovan wanted no part of stepping into the hornets' nest at Kentucky.

This is a little more surprising:
VCU athletic director Norwood Teague said his initial list includes Rams assistant Tony Pujol, Auburn head coach Jeff Lebo, Florida assistant Shaka Smart and Texas assistant Russell Springmann.
My response: ????!?!??!!!??!??

Putting aside for a moment how it would further Lebo's career to leave Auburn for a Colonial team (albeit a good one, and you're not going to find me knocking the CAA--but the way to bigger and better jobs probably doesn't lie that way), the finances don't look feasible from here:
His contract runs through 2013 and has a mutual buyout clause. If Lebo left for another job and Auburn decided to enforce the clause, Lebo would owe $375,000 for every year remaining on the contract, or at least $1.5 million.
There isn't actually a big difference in Grant's VCU salary and what Lebo's pulling in at Auburn, but that buyout's an awful big chunk of change for tiehr Lebo or VCU or whoever'd wind up paying it.

So I don't think there's anything to see here. But then again, Lebo wouldn't be the first Auburn basketball coach to leave the Plains for VCU, would he?


tiger7_88 said...

Jerry, Bitter seems to think its an old friend helping out Lebo with some contract leverage/pressure. The VCU AD is a 1988 UNC grad who later worked in the UNC AD for a few years (Lebo played there (1986-1989).

SEC Homer said...

Does anyone else have a problem with a team that(allegedly, but cmon its almost as certain as OJ) cheated getting to the Final 4?

IMO, Lebo should have no leverage if all of this is true. AU has been a garbage team during his fairly long tenure, EXCEPT for the past month and a half when they got hot in a weak conference where the top team was seeded 8 in the tourney. Plus, they they lose two of their best players on this years team to graduation. If he is trying to play AU for a new contract then I say fire him and let him go to VCU. There are plenty of good up and coming mid major coaches that would love to come to AU and can win at AU. Guys like Bruce Pearl, Billy Donovan,& John Calipari, were once mid major coaches at one time. In fact, until the past month and a half, I could make a case that I could have coached AU basketball better than Lebo over the past few seasons. With the typical weak OOC schedule and overall suckiness in the SEC West the past few years, my grandma could have coached AU up to win 10-15 games. Damn, I long for the days of Doc Robinson, Chris Porter, and my favorite AU player ever, Mamadou N'daiye. "Mamadou FOR two"!!!

jd said...

Not sure I want to be involved in a coaching search this offseason when Kentucky and Georgia are doing the same, Homer...

tiger7_88 said...

Kentucky I can see, jd. Why would we have to worry about Georgia? Our program is not only in better condition players-wise but, by the end of next year, will be near the top in the country facilities-wise.

SEC Homer said...

All of this is hypothetical jd and very unlikely to happen. I took tigers comment and ran with it. The scenario Bitter laid out seems reasonable since a lot of coaches and agents do this nowadays. Even if Lebo is pushing for a raise, I doubt Jacobs would do what I would do and tell Lebo and his 4 2/3 seasons of mediocrity to take a hike. Regardless, its at least 95% Lebo is the coach at AU next year. And he did earn another year with the teams performance during the last 1/3 of the season. One of the commenters from another post told me we have some decent JUCO and incoming freshman so there is some hope even after losing Barber and Barrett. Lebo earned another season, he just did not earn a raise.

jd said...

tiger -

Georgia has said they will spend big for their new coach. If Auburn were looking for a coach as well, we may spend big as well, but we probably couldn't outspend the Dawgs for a coach if we were both after him.