Anyone who has visited the Tigers home recently should have picked up on the fact that the marriage between the Memphis Tiger fan base and Josh Pastner is rocky at best. On Sunday, the marriage got rockier, and separation is inevitable.

Photo: Mark Weber, The Commercial Appeal
Photo: Mark Weber, The Commercial Appeal

The Tigers lost at home on Sunday to East Carolina who came into the game winless on the road, and winless in conference play. Memphis was 16 point favorites in the game but trailed 45-36 at halftime, before ultimately losing 84-83. The Pirates came into the game without their second leading scorer but still managed to put up 84 points in the victory.

Yes, this was a bad loss. Yes, this officially eliminated any chance the Tigers may have had at making the NCAA Tournament. But no, the loss itself wasn’t the most upsetting thing that happened on Sunday. The reason the few Josh Pastner supporters still out there have had enough now as well is the fact that he pretty much threw his players under the bus after the loss.

He called out Markel Crawford on the way he was defending screens. He called out Sam Craft for running the final play of the game wrong. Sam Craft, who is the running back on the football team, just joined the team three weeks ago, but because of lack of depth and talent, he was propelled into the starting lineup. Calling out your players and throwing them under the bus is not something the fan base is going to tolerate, especially when the program is sinking deeper and deeper with every game. That’s the type of thing that makes everyone open their eyes wide and cringe in acknowledgement that now you’ve gone too far.

The turbulent Tiger household is about to become more unstable as 7 of the Tigers next 12 games are on the road. The Tigers are winless on the road this season. Another bit of bad news for Memphis is 3 of their remaining 5 home games are against UCONN, Cincinnati, and SMU.

So we have established that the Tigers program is slipping. A very bad loss against ECU on your home floor, attendance is in major decline, most likely Memphis will miss out on any post-season tournament play, and recruiting has all but died. So we can look for an announcement about Pastner’s future real soon, right?

The problem in this relationship is the same issue that many couples face today, we simply cannot afford to get divorced. Pastner has no buyout clause and the University of Memphis is on the hook for the next four years. Pastner is making $2.65M a year. The University would have to shell out $10.6M, even after this season, to relieve Josh of his duties. You add that on top of the fact that they would still have to pay the new coach his annual salary, than firing Josh would be costing the school around $5-6M annually for the next four years, just in basketball head coaching salaries. SEC, ACC, BIG 10, and BIG 12 schools may be able to afford that. Memphis simply cannot.

So for now kids, we’ll call it separation, with a divorce imminent. After Sunday, I’m not sure counseling will help. While Josh is still inside the Tigers home, he is sleeping on the couch.

 

Brandon Reid covers NCAAB and the Memphis Tigers for MyFantasySportsTalk.com, you can follow him on Twitter @New_Breid

https://i2.wp.com/www.myfantasysportstalk.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/Josh-Pastner-2.jpg?fit=659%2C445&ssl=1https://i2.wp.com/www.myfantasysportstalk.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/Josh-Pastner-2.jpg?resize=150%2C150&ssl=1Brandon ReidAmerican AthleticAnalysisBasketballNCAABNews and UpdatesRecent Posts#SMU,AAC,American Athletic Conference,Cincinnati,ECU,Josh Pastner,Memphis,Memphis Tigers,pastner,UConnAnyone who has visited the Tigers home recently should have picked up on the fact that the marriage between the Memphis Tiger fan base and Josh Pastner is rocky at best. On Sunday, the marriage got rockier, and separation is inevitable. The Tigers lost at home on Sunday to East...Why go anywhere else for sports and entertainment?