Is anyone really surprised?
After dealing with an academic scandal last season in which the SMU program was unable to participate in the postseason, Larry Brown opted to resign from his position as head coach of the Mustangs.
Brown’s decision to step down comes at the worst possible time for SMU, as the NCAA world is in the midst of the first live recruiting period of July, and Dallas is dealing with an unfortunate tragedy.
Tim Jankovich, who was hired as the head coach in waiting, will now step in for Brown as the head man after previous stints with Illinois State and North Texas. Jankovich took over for Brown when the Hall of Famer was suspended for nine games last year in relation to last year’s NCAA sanctions. Jankovich and the Mustangs won all nine games.
Brown brought the SMU program from the bottom of the barrel to a perennial contender for conference titles and NCAA Tournament appearances. He took the Mustangs to the Big Dance in one of his four seasons on the job, led them to an NIT Final in 2013-14, and he had an overall record of 94-39 at the school.
But the Mustangs could’ve had a lot more success than they are currently given credit for.
Unfortunately, it was Brown that held them back.
SMU staff members completed academic assignments for former five-star recruit Keith Frazier, resulting in the NCAA scandal that limited a 25-5 team from competing in both the AAC Tournament and the Big Dance.
And that’s not the first time that Brown has had issues with the NCAA.
When he coached at UCLA, the program was given a postseason ban and probation for using ineligible players. At Kansas, the program was banned from the postseason following an NCAA Championship – Brown dashed to the San Antonio Spurs following the title.
Brown has a reputation for leaving teams before he gets too comfortable. He has coached at SMU, Kansas, Davidson (offseason only!) and UCLA at the college level, while he also coached the Carolina Cougars (ABA), Denver Nuggets, New Jersey Nets, Los Angeles Clippers, Indiana Pacers, Philadelphia 76ers, Indiana Pacers, Detroit Pistons, New York Knicks and Charlotte Bobcats.
He is the only coach to win both an NCAA title and an NBA Championship, and was elected into the Hall of Fame in 2002.
And he might not be done in the coaching profession.
Just talked to Jay Wright about Larry Brown. They are close. Wright still feels as though LB isn't done coaching.
— Jeff Goodman (@GoodmanESPN) July 8, 2016
Brown wanted a five-year extension at age 75. SMU only wanted to give him a maximum of 2-to-3 years.
Now it’s time for both of them to move on.