August 17, 2012 in Division I
“I would like to end the speculation about my leaving Eastern Michigan University,” said Murphy. “I am pleased to confirm that I am remaining at EMU as the head coach of the men’s basketball program. Our Athletic Director, Dr. Derrick Gragg, has worked diligently with me to insure that we are continuing on the path of building a strong foundation for our basketball program. I am extremely grateful for the opportunity which EMU has provided me and my family and very appreciative of the unwavering support of our Board of Regents, students, fans and community. I am eager to return the focus of discussion to the tasks at hand: graduating our student-athletes, building our basketball program and representing the EMU community in a manner which will evoke both pride and passion for our university. Our team and coaching staff are tirelessly preparing to begin the academic year along with the coming basketball season. Moving forward this will be our focus.”
“It is true that I had an opportunity to join the Orlando Magic,” Murphy continued. “Representatives of the Magic were both professional in their approach and respectful of our situation at EMU. I am very appreciative of the opportunity to have spoken with them and would like to publicly thank them for their professionalism and interest. They have a great franchise with a tremendous staff in place, and I wish them nothing but the best.”
Honestly, that’s a pretty decent way to handle a difficult situation. A lot of schools and coaches would’ve simply resorted to denying everything. Murphy acknowledged the rumors that the Magic were pursuing him were accurate, even if he doesn’t come right out and say he got close to leaving.
It’s possible his buyout issue complicated things, but even if that’s the case, he’s far from the only coach to get close to leaving before deciding to stay put. Ultimately, this is the best possible news for Eastern, who would’ve been in a very tough situation needing to find a coach this close to the season starting.