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Firing disappoints ex-IU star Thomas

MIAMI – Isiah Thomas said Saturday that he is deeply disappointed by his firing by Florida International, adding that he felt the long-struggling program was on the verge of a breakthrough season.

The Basketball Hall of Fame player was fired Friday. He went 26-65 in three years, and FIU’s program hasn’t had a winning record since 1999-2000.

“I am deeply disappointed that I wasn’t given the time to finish the job of building FIU into one of the nation’s top basketball programs,” the former Indiana University star said in a statement released to The Associated Press. “The foundation for success had been laid and we were looking forward to having our breakout year, with another strong recruiting class.”

Other than a three-line statement released to announce Thomas’ firing, FIU officials have not made any other public comments.

“Coaching FIU had everything to do with my love of the game and the truly rewarding work of helping to shape the character of our players,” Thomas said.

It’s unclear how many players who came to play for Thomas will stay. The school has not divulged if any players have asked to be released from their letters of intent.

– Associated Press