Tigers athletic director shows support for basketball coach

MEMPHIS, Tenn-University of Memphis athletic director Tom Bowen released a statement Tuesday morning in support of Tigers basketball coach Tubby Smith in the aftermath of six players announcing they plan to transfer.

STATEMENT BY TOM BOWEN, ATHLETIC DIRECTOR

Dear Tiger Nation:

The past several days have been challenging ones for our University of Memphis men’s basketball program. I met with Coach Tubby Smith at length, and while student-athletes deciding to leave our University has been difficult to watch, it has not surprised us.

Across the country, more than 700 Division I men’s basketball student-athletes transferred last year. That record number of transfers is expected to be eclipsed again this year, as this trend continues to grow.

However, Coach Smith and I are extremely optimistic about the future of our program. Coach and his staff have been actively recruiting experienced student-athletes to play at the University of Memphis in the 2017-18 season and beyond. Beginning tomorrow, on national signing day, we will be announcing the newest members of the Tiger basketball program, along with an in-depth look at the returning players and those that have already signed a national letter of intent.

I ask you to be supportive of the process and this program as well. Coach Smith and his staff are creating the building blocks that will allow our men’s basketball program to flourish in the classroom, the community and on the court. Thank you for your passion of Tiger athletics and Go Tigers Go!

Tom Bowen