A disastrous college basketball season for the Georgia Bulldogs (6-20; 1-12 in SEC play) has reached a new level of embarrassment after assistant coach Wade Mason got into a physical altercation with director of player personnel Brian Fish during halftime of Georgia’s 85-64 loss at LSU on Wednesday. Mason has been suspended indefinitely for the incident, according to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
Additionally, Georgia head coach Tom Crean reportedly could be fired for cause due to failing to report the physical altercation involving two of his staff members.
Graham Coffey of SB Nation’s Dawg Sports reports that Crean’s firing “could be imminent” after he failed to report the physical altercation, and Georgia university officials are looking into firing Crean for cause, which would allow the university to fire Crean without having to pay his $3.6 million buyout.
BREAKING: Tom Crean’s firing could be imminent
Sources have told me that Crean failed to report a recent physical altercation between assistants. University officials are now looking into firing him for causehttps://t.co/lqXlz2eITC
— Graham Coffey (@DawgOutWest) February 19, 2022
News of the incident was reported to HR by someone other than Crean, which is a violation of his contract and could allow Georgia to fire Crean without having to pay his buyout of $3.6 million. Sources told DawgSports that the university was building Crean’s firing packet as of 9:00 EST on Friday night.
This could also just be a convenient way for Georgia to get out of a contract — that pays Crean $3.2 million annually — with the head coach of a 6-20 team. Crean is in his fourth season with Georgia and has produced a winning record just one time (14-12 in 2020-21). His best SEC record was 7-11 (also in 2020-21). And things have *really* gone downhill in year four.
Crean, 55, coached at Indiana for nine seasons before joining Georgia, and he reached the Sweet Sixteen three times (with four NCAA Tournament trips). That’s after he also spent nine seasons at Marquette, where he reached the Final Four once to highlight five NCAA Tournament berths with the Golden Eagles. But the Georgia tenure has been a disaster for Crean, and it appears that tenure will end in ugly fashion to really cap things off.
Here’s a sampling of the reaction to the Crean news:
This feels distinctly like finding any excuse to fire Tom Crean for cause. And this is a pretty weak reason. Just fire him and pay him what he’s owed. https://t.co/RFg5Ewghqp
— Ryan Phillips (@RumorsandRants) February 19, 2022
— crimson quarry (@crimsonquarry) February 19, 2022
— T (@TheoTweetsStuff) February 19, 2022
When Tom Crean is fired with cause, justice will be served. https://t.co/MxgRpwgYGw
— Georgia Hoops (@UGAHoopsBlog) February 19, 2022
If he had 20 wins this would be an internal issue fixed over morning coffee. https://t.co/mhf7mLZgST
— 🅿️itt Boss Harris (@That_Guy_Harris) February 19, 2022
Tom Crean has set the Georgia basketball program back tremendously. Fortunately, a good coach & one good recruiting cycle can change things.
— Jon Tweets Sports (@jontweetssports) February 19, 2022
I thought that when Georgia hired Tom Crean this could possibly lead to our program jumping up in the world of college basketball. I was even more excited when he got Anthony Edwards. But instead our program sank even further. An unceremonious end to an embarrassing era.
— UGA Hoops (@UgaHoops) February 19, 2022
[Photo Credit: Big Ten Network]