Hapless on the Hilltop

OK, so let's hear it. It's been a week since SMU fired basketball coach Jimmy Tubbs and promised the reasons went far beyond the wrist-slap NCAA violations of buying players hamburgers and lending them cups of laundry detergent. If there's more to the story--and there'd better be--it's time for outgoing athletic director Jim Copeland to come clean. Last time someone looked this guilty after an eff-up and promised to tell us the "rest of the story" later, his name was Rafael Palmeiro. He's out of baseball, his reputation is in shambles, and, weird, we still haven't gotten his explanation on how steroids mysteriously jumped into his body. If SMU just expects this firing to dissolve, it may well travel the same, scary path.

Tubbs, a legend at Kimball High School, wasn't winning at SMU. His two-year record was 27-30, without a sniff of post-season play. Worse, the African-American coach wasn't landing, as he promised, inner-city blue-chip DISD recruits to help the Mustangs win. If that's the reason for his firing it's perfectly legit. But say it, don't hide behind the burgers and B.S. --Richie Whitt

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