How many more scandals can one school take without getting rid of the issue and starting from scratch? Ever since Head Coach Penny Hardaway got to the University of Memphis, trouble has followed him in terms of the NCAA. Which; sucks too, because Penny is one of us. He’s from Memphis, reps the city, and does a lot for his community. Penny even led the program back to NCAA Tournament, where the Tigers made the entire city proud by representing the 901 to no flaw.
Yet, here we are. We’re a week removed from the NCAA Tournament appearance, and the cloud surrounding the program is too heavy to continue on the same path.
Here’s the thing though it didn’t have to be this way. All Penny and the Memphis Baseball program had to do was comply. Instead, the Tigers said screw it and decided they wanted to fight the NCAA rather than work with them to figure out the mess that Penny had created.
So, where does Memphis go from here? What should the Tigers do about the latest allegations surrounding the program? Where does Memphis turn; if indeed the Tigers are forced to fire Penny Hardaway?
Honestly, there’s no easy solution to this.
Let’s say Memphis fires Penny Hardaway to try and save the program from receiving the death penalty; I mean, other schools like Louisville have done it and failed, but in that case, who does Memphis go out and get to replace Penny? Penny Hardaway’s replacement will have to be somebody who has a special heart for rebuilding the program from the ground up. We have seen countless examples through the years of this happening at other schools, and the replacement is there for a few years to ride the ship during troubled waters.
On the other side of this, if Memphis does face the harshest of penalties, then the Tigers basketball program will face no other option than to fire Penny Hardaway and start rebuilding the program from the ground up. It would suck to fire Penny because he’s one of us, but the program would be fine.
So, what is the most likely pathway for the Tigers Basketball program, and what’s next?
As difficult as it would be for everybody involved, sometimes the best thing to do is say goodbyes with a legacy still tact. At this point, there’s no other option than to get rid of Penny Hardaway and suffer the punches to rebuild for a better future of Memphis Basketball.
Coach Penny Hardaway will always be a proud member of the Tiger Nation no matter what happens next. Eventually, the good memories with Penny and the Tigers will overshadow the bad, and Memphis Basketball will once again fill whole again. Until then, batten down the hatches; Memphis fans, it’ll get better in the long run.