College Basketball Insider

Why did Memphis coach Pastner fire his brother-in-law midseason?

Josh Pastner once called Frank Matrisciano the "best in the world at what he does."

He's been featured in Men's Health.

And Business Insider.

He's been the Memphis basketball program's de facto strength and conditioning coach since May 2011, and he's probably the sport's most famous trainer given all of the attention he's received for working with, among others, NBA All-Star Blake Griffin. On Tuesday, though, Matrisciano was "relieved of his duties" at Memphis in an obviously strange development made stranger by the fact that Pastner and Matrisciano are actually brothers-in-law.

(Pastner and Matrisciano are married to twin sisters.)

So what happened?

What caused Pastner to terminate his trainer (and brother-in-law) midseason?

Here's the deal, I'm told: After the 24th-ranked Tigers missed 15 of the 17 3-pointers they attempted in Saturday's loss to Cincinnati at FedExForum, Pastner was worried his players might have tired legs and suggested Matrisciano work only on the players' upper-bodies heading into Thursday's game at 12th-ranked Louisville. Matrisciano rejected that idea and didn't appreciate Pastner telling him how to do his job. Pastner understood that but also didn't care. He told Matrisciano again that the players were not to do any legwork this week, at which point Matrisciano responded by essentially telling Pastner that he'd either work the players out the way he sees fit or not at all.

Back and forth they went.

Ultimately, Pastner decided to go with not at all.

He then terminated his brother-in-law, basically on the spot.

So now the man known as "Hell's Trainer" is unemployed, and the Tigers are without the person who has been in charge of their conditioning for the past two seasons. And family functions? Yeah, those might be a little awkward going forward, too.


Gary Parrish is a senior college basketball columnist for CBSSports.com and frequent contributor to the CBS Sports Network. The Mississippi native also hosts the highest-rated sports talk radio show -- The Gary Parrish Show -- in the history of Memphis. He lives in that area with his wife, two children and a dog.
 
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