Hewitt to be fired Saturday?

Posted by Coley Harvey on March 11, 2011 

According to a Friday morning tweet from CBS national sports columnist Gregg Doyel -- one that appears to have since been removed -- Georgia Tech may be "parting ways" with head basketball coach Paul Hewitt on Saturday.

Doyel said he was "hearing" that Hewitt's departure could be forthcoming. (The rest of his Twitterfeed shows him talking about Hewitt to readers, even though the original tweet has disappeared. Several Tech fans retweeted the original tweet) The Telegraph isn't hearing anything that would either confirm nor deny the rumblings in his ear.

Hewitt has spent the last 11 seasons at Tech, leading the Yellow Jackets to four NCAA tournament trips including one that ended in a Final Four appearance. The Jackets lost the 2004 national championship to Connecticut.

Per Hewitt's contract, for Tech to fire him, it means the school will be forced to give him a $7.2 million buyout over the next two years. In order for the buyout to go through without Tech owing him more money, the decision to terminate must come before Wednesday. If the school fires him between March 15 and April 15, it will owe him an additional $1 million, per the contract terms.

If this was Hewitt's last season at Tech, his tenure ended with a thud Thursday night. Scoring their fewest points in a game ever under Hewitt's direction, the Yellow Jackets fell to Virginia Tech 59-43 in the opening round of the ACC tournament. The loss pushed them to a 13-18 overall record, finalizing their third losing season in four years.

Despite the loss, Hewitt remained optimistic about returning to Tech for future seasons.

He told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution after the game that he expected to come back next fall, before adding "but you know..."

The basketball community knows such a decision rests solely in the hands of athletic director Dan Radakovich and other members of the athletic association. Since before the season, Radakovich and his staff has maintained that the AD will sit down with Hewitt once the season ends and discuss the Institute's next steps with regard to his services.

During his own tenure at Tech, Radakovich has overseen the firing of one revenue sport's head coach. In 2007, hours after the football Jackets lost to rival Georgia, he fired head coach Chan Gailey. Less than two weeks later, Paul Johnson was introduced as Gailey's successor.

Sometime in the coming days, Hewitt's fate should be known with certainty.

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