Isiah Thomas arrived at Florida International knowing that he was taking a risk. Three years later, the school didn't see enough reward...
FIU fires Isiah Thomas
Isiah Thomas arrived at Florida International knowing that he was taking a risk. Three years later, the school didn’t see enough reward.
The Basketball Hall of Fame player was fired Friday by FIU, after his teams went 26-65 in his three seasons.
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FIU announced the decision in a simple three-line statement.
“We want to thank Isiah Thomas for his three years here at FIU,” said Pete Garcia, the school’s director of sports and entertainment. “However, we have decided to take the program in a different direction.”
Thomas never won more than 11 games in any of his three seasons.
“We just needed a break here or a break there, and it’s not happening for us,” Thomas said last month, shortly after FIU’s 8-21 season ended with a loss to eventual Sun Belt tournament champion Western Kentucky. “I know we’re getting there. We’ve had so many close games. If we keep working, good things will happen.”
University officials said Garcia did not plan to make any further public statement about the decision, only noting that the search for the team’s next coach would begin immediately.
Thomas spurns draft
Deshaun Thomas will not be joining Ohio State teammate Jared Sullinger in the NBA next year, choosing to return for his junior season. The 6-foot-7 forward from Fort Wayne, Ind., averaged 15.9 points and 5.4 rebounds for the Buckeyes, who went 31-8 and lost in the national semifinals.
U.S. tied at Davis Cup
John Isner defeated Gilles Simon 6-3, 6-2, 7-5, pulling the United States even with France after opening singles at the Davis Cup quarterfinals in Roquebrune, France.
The Americans needed a strong performance from Isner after Jo-Wilfried Tsonga beat 19-year-old Ryan Harrison, 7-5, 6-2, 2-6, 6-2, to give France the lead.
Saturday’s doubles in the best-of-five series pits Bob and Mike Bryan against Frenchmen Julien Benneteau and Michael Llodra.
In other Davis Cup matches, host and defending champion Spain jumped out to a 2-0 lead over Austria in Castellon; and Argentina and Croatia are tied 1-1 in Buenos Aires.
Stosur stops Williams
Reigning U.S. Open champion Samantha Stosur put the latest matchup in the Williams sisters’ sibling rivalry on hold by rallying past Venus Williams for a 6-3, 4-6, 6-3 victory in the quarterfinals at the Family Circle Cup in Charleston, S.C.
The second-seeded Stosur now has a chance at knocking out both Williams sisters on consecutive days when she meets Serena Williams — who advanced when opponent Sabine Lisicki withdrew with an ankle injury — in Saturday’s semifinals.
Hobey Baker awarded
Minnesota-Duluth center Jack Connolly won the Hobey Baker Award as college hockey’s top player. The Dallas Stars draft pick had 20 goals and 40 assists this season. He had 66 goals and 131 assists in 166 career games, leading the Bulldogs to the national title last year.
Maine forward Spencer Abbott and Colgate forward Austin Smith also were finalists.
Rangers coach fined
New York Rangers coach John Tortorella was fined $20,000 by the NHL for his comments following a 5-2 loss to Pittsburgh on Thursday.
Tortorella called the Penguins “one of the most arrogant organizations in the league” during a profanity-laden tirade that focused on defenseman Brooks Orpik’s knee-to-knee hit on Derek Stepan.
“It’s a cheap, dirty hit. I wonder what would happen if we did it to their two whining stars over there,” Tortorella said, referring to Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin.
• Kentucky’s Anthony Davis and Baylor’s Brittney Griner accepted their John R. Wooden awards in Los Angeles as the nation’s top college basketball players.
• Andres Gonzales of Olympia shot a 1-under-par 70 to retain the lead after two rounds of the Nationwide Soboba Classic in San Jacinto, Calif.
• Bolton says Fabrice Muamba is making “strong and steady improvements” while recovering from his on-field cardiac arrest during an FA Cup quarterfinal last month. Muamba, who has started walking and eating again, turned 24 on Friday.
• Howard says its spring sports teams have resumed competition after a temporary halt because of possible NCAA rules violations.
• After 20 days of sailing through rough conditions, Puma won the Volvo Ocean Race’s fifth stage by just 12 minutes over overall race leader Telefonica.
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