Georgia Tech’s in no-win situation if it wants to fire Hewitt

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It’s yet another ho-hum season for Georgia Tech. And it’s killing Mark Bradley.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution columnist made the case yesterday that Tech can’t afford to keep coach Paul Hewitt, even if it does cost the school $7 million in severance pay. The reason? Mediocrity is killing the program, and at the worst possible time.

With attendance dwindling and an arena revamp coming , Bradley may have a point.

Hewitt’s been to the Final Four, but that was in 2004, an eternity for a hoops-proud school in the ACC. He’s brought in big-time recruits, but Tech didn’t do much with ‘em. One NCAA tournament win with Derrick Favors and Gani Lawal and a 7-9 ACC record? Ouch. Thaddeus Young and Javaris Crittenton didn’t fare much better back in 2007, going 20-12 and 8-8.

Then there are the lost seasons when Tech went 12-19, 11-17 and 15-17. Hewitt always saved his job by posting a decent record or bringing in big recruits and has been aided by a hefty buyout clause (hence the $7 million).

But maybe it’s time to mimic Oregon, which fired its all-time winningest coach in Ernie Kent last season in favor of starting fresh. Or Wake Forest, which sought to aim higher in getting rid of Dino Gaudio, whose teams stunk in the postseason.

Only … Oregon and Wake are both awful and in the middle of long rebuilds. If Tech’s gonna make a move in time to build some excitement when the new arena opens in Nov. 2012, it better do it now. But here’s a tip: Have a guy ready to go before you fire Hewitt.

Otherwise it’ll be a complete mess.

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