Could Alabama Basketball Coach Anthony Grant Face Same Fate As Barbee?


By Catalina Trivino

Auburn basketball fans are wondering who'll be their next basketball coach after Tony Barbee was fired last night moments after the Tigers lost in the SEC Tournament. Alabama basketball coach Anthony Grant is also considered on the hot seat... so could he have the same fate?

"I think he has one more year and if he doesn't produce this year and advance to the SEC tournament, I think we need to let him go and look for somebody else," Said Alabama fan, Chase Avant.

It would cost Alabama $5 million dollars to fire him, but with this being his first losing season, CBS 8 Sports analyst, John Longshore, thinks Grant's job is safe.

"He's got some incoming talent next year that I think could really make a difference," Said Longshore.

Auburn's Tony Barbee won't get another chance, ending with a 49-75 overall record. The Tigers never won an SEC tourney game under Barbee, but not all Tigers fans are happy to see him go so suddenly.

"To fire him after a game of that magnitude? I think that was very corrupt. I think that guy deserves a fair chance. I just don't think he was given that," Said Auburn fan, Leon Triplett.

But Longshore, says it was no surprise.

"Things just didn't work out at Auburn. He had a difficult time recruiting, keeping players at Auburn. He had 13 players during his four years there that left the program for whatever reason, attendance was a factor, I mean when athletic directors see empty seats, that's not a good sign," Said Longshore.

That leaves Auburn owing Barbee about $2.4 million dollars for his buyout. Almost exactly four years ago, former coach, Jeff Lebo, was also fired, a $1.5 million dollar buyout that's now been paid off.

There's still about 20 months left to finish paying former football Coach Gene Chizik's buyout -- $8 million dollars for three years.

Despite having to make those big payouts, the focus is now on the future. Auburn Athletic director, Jay Jacobs, says now the search is on for a new coach. They've started that immediately.

Some of the names for potential replacements include former Mississippi State head coach, Rick Stansbury ,and former University of Tennessee coach, Bruce Pearl.