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FIU fires Thomas as coach

MIAMI — Florida International fired men's basketball coach Isiah Thomas on Thursday after the Hall of Fame player went 26-65 in three seasons.

His hiring came out of nowhere in 2009 — "No one thought we could pull this off," FIU director of sports and entertainment Pete Garcia proudly said at the time — and in the end, so did his firing.

"We want to thank (Thomas) for his three years … at FIU," Garcia said. "However, we have decided to take the program in a different direction."

Messages to Thomas were not immediately returned.

"Speechless," DeJuan Wright, FIU's leading scorer this past season, said of the move.

Thomas joined FIU after leaving the Knicks following stints as coach, team president and adviser, and being involved in a sexual harassment lawsuit against the team and Thomas that cost the club's owners $11.6 million. He never won more than 11 games in any of his seasons at FIU.

Petrino case: Moments after their motorcycle crash, Bobby Petrino and a female athletic department employee told a passerby not to call 911, then got a ride back to Fayetteville where the Arkansas football coach was met by a state trooper who provides his personal security during the season.

New post-crash details were in a 911 call released by State Police. The passerby, Larry Hendren, describes coming upon the accident Sunday just after Petrino and Jessica Dorrell "were getting up out of the ditch." He said Petrino was "walking, but it looked like his face was bleeding quite a lot."

"The rider and the passenger of the motorcycle declined us to call 911," Hendren told a dispatcher.

Petrino, 51, was taken to an intersection by another passerby. There, Dorrell, 25, left in her car while Petrino was met by Capt. Lance King, his security guard during the season. King took Petrino to a hospital.

King has been asked to detail "his involvement with Coach Petrino and other individuals who've been identified within the crash investigation," the State Police said.

Petrino has been put on paid leave after admitting he failed to disclose Dorrell's presence on the ride and that the two had an inappropriate relationship. Petrino initially said he was riding alone after a day off with his wife at a lake.

FIU fires Thomas as coach 04/06/12 [Last modified: Friday, April 6, 2012 9:29pm]
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