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Frank Haith has agreed in principle to a deal to leave Missouri to become the next head coach at Tulsa, according to multiple reports on Thursday afternoon.
Jeff Goodman of ESPN.com and Gary Parrish of CBSSports.com are reporting the deal as done.
Haith might see the writing on the wall with the Tigers. He missed out on the NCAA tournament this past season and will lose Earnest Ross to graduation and Jordan Clarkson and Jabari Brown to the NBA and he had to dismiss Zach Price after Price was arrested twice in one day for allegedly assaulting Ross and his girlfriend. Ross reportedly filed for a restraining order against Price.
Haith does have a solid recruiting class coming in, but another trip to the NIT could have gotten him fired at Missouri. It’s not a bad course of action to leave before you get fired. Cuonzo Martin did it on Tuesday when he left Tennessee for Cal, Gregg McDermott did it when he left Iowa State for Creighton, Herb Sendek did it by taking the Arizona State job. Oliver Purnell has made a career out of leaving before they force you out. You might even be able to argue that Haith did the same when he left Miami for Missouri three years ago.
Tulsa actually should be pretty good next season. They’re coming off of a trip to the NCAA tournament and the core of their team is made up of sophomores.
As of now, Missouri will probably be the best job available. Look for them to go after some of the same guys as Tennessee.