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Tubbs under fire at Texas Christian

FORT WORTH — Pledging their support for basketball coach Billy Tubbs, TCU officials said Friday that they plan to honor Tubbs' contract in full.

Chancellor Michael Ferrari and athletic director Eric Hyman also said that a buyout of Tubbs' contract is not in the works.

"Coach Tubbs is our basketball coach at TCU, and we're going to honor our contractual commitment," Hyman said. "All the rest of the speculation is pure, unsubstantiated rumors. . . . He has my full support."

Added Ferrari, "Billy Tubbs is our coach, he's done a terrific job, and we had another 20-win season."

It is believed next season will be the last year of Tubbs' multiyear contract. Both Ferrari and Hyman, citing privacy issues at the school, declined to comment on the contract.

Tubbs, 66, also cannot discuss contract specifics, citing terms of

his deal, but said "the contract does not end this year."

Speculation began to circulate Thursday that Tubbs might have coached his final game at TCU after the Frogs lost to Hawaii, 99-79, in the Western Athletic Conference tournament.

"This has been a long 24 hours," said Tubbs, who spent much of Friday on a recruiting trip. "All of this was kind of shocking. I'm going to recover from this. I would be lying to you if I said it doesn't bother me."

Tubbs, considered the most successful basketball coach in school history, also said he does not plan to resign from TCU in the near future.

"I'm still excited about TCU," Tubbs said. "I love TCU and Fort Worth, Texas."

The Horned Frogs, who lost in the WAC tournament quarterfinals Thursday, learn Sunday if their season will continue in the National Invitation Tournament.

An NIT berth would be the fourth postseason berth for TCU in Tubbs' seven years at the school. The Frogs had a string of three consecutive postseason appearances snapped last year.

Tubbs, 140-80 at TCU, has won an average of 20 games a season with the Frogs. His winning percentage of .636 is second in school history, and TCU has not had a losing season under Tubbs.

However, Tubbs agrees with critics who aren't satisfied with thestate of the program. TCU's only NCAA Tournament trip under Tubbs came in 1998.

"This is the most successful period in the history of TCU," Tubbs said, "but I'm not happy with our program at TCU. My expectations are higher than this, and I haven't given up."

Ferrari and Hyman would not comment on whether a contract extension is being considered for Tubbs. Both said TCU's standard procedure is to evaluate a coach at the conclusion of the season.

TCU, however, handled the contract status of former football coach Dennis Franchione differently. The school began discussing a renegotiated contract and extension with Franchione before the season ended.

Ferrari said those talks were a different situation. He said that TCU felt the need to respond to the open courting of Franchione by other schools. Franchione eventually left TCU for Alabama.

If Tubbs does not receive an extension, he would enter Conference USA with only one year guaranteed. Tubbs said he could envision coaching for several more years.