Remember last fall when USC fired Lane Kiffin at the airport after a loss? Auburn didn't even wait that long. AD Jay Jacobs fired Tony Barbee at the team hotel after the Tigers' 74-56 loss to South Carolina in their SEC Tournament game:
Auburn Athletics Director Jay Jacobs informed Barbee of his decision after the game at the team hotel.
"After careful evaluation of the last four years, I feel this is best for the program," Jacobs said.
Jacobs said the search for a new coach would begin immediately.
"I believe we should compete for championships in men's basketball. It's time for somebody else to have a turn. We need to find somebody to come in here and take what we have here now and put some more in and compete for SEC titles."
It's not a shock that Barbee didn't make it, given his 49-74 (18-50 SEC) record in four years on the Plains. He came to Auburn after four years at UTEP, the last of which featured an NCAA Tournament bid. He didn't even manage a .500 record at AU. And, not that he had anything to do with it, a point shaving scandal actually broke out under his watch.
The guys at College and Magnolia seem more resigned to it than anything:
Just what direction that is remains to be seen. With the current state of the Auburn basketball, it's hard to imagine Jacobs will be able to attract a coach from a top or solid mid-major program. Many Auburn fans have been clamoring for former Tennessee coach Bruce Pearl, but his show-cause order from the NCAA isn't over until August. In recent days, former Mississippi State coach Rich Stansbury has been a hot name, but as of right now, there is no credence to that rumor.
No matter what, it's time to turn the page. Hopefully the next one isn't so terrible.
Indeed. Barbee was a mid-major coach coming off of an NCAA Tournament bid. He did approximately nothing well in four seasons. Auburn has only eight Big Dance appearances ever, none since 2003. It has had just one postseason appearance of any kind in the past decade, an NIT bid in 2009 under Jeff Lebo.
Auburn basketball is about as dead as a major conference program can be. It's going to take some magic to get it going again.