Good post. I know you put a lot of effort into it to defend your pro Claeyes and pro Tubby takes.Here's what it honestly boils down to for me - in both cases, it was a new AD coming in and making their own hires. I truly think it was that simple. People make up nonsense to try to pretend that both were fired for cause. (Tubby "ran out of gas," "was tired," and "couldn't recruit"; Claeys had "lost control of his team," "isn't cut out to be a head coach," "was always intended to be an interim hire," and "never wanted the job in the first place.") It's all just mythology.
Teague fancied himself a basketball expert and had already hired Shaka Smart at VCU, so he obviously was going to install his own guy as quickly as feasible - particularly since Smith already had 6 years under his belt. He most likely thought (foolishly) that he could get Smart to come here. Kill was already pretty popular, and was only coming off his first season, so of course he didn't have the clout or the cachet to swing that one as well.
And Coyle already had a history of twice hiring his own football coaches at good-to-decent football programs (Bryan Harsin at Boise St., Dino Babers at Syracuse), so he was clearly going to do the same here. Short of something insane like going to the Rose Bowl, Claeys was going to be fired regardless - the "sex" "scandal" provided a timely and convenient cover. Pitino was young and energetic, and only 3 seasons in, so again it wasn't the right time. Depending on how this season turns out, it might end up being the right time.
Further, putting aside the history of the AD position (and the personal history of the ADs themselves), how anyone could look at what has since transpired and still hold to the above fictions is mind-boggling to me. Tubby had "run out of gas" and "didn't care," and yet not one, but TWO ADs at basketball programs at least as good as Minnesota (I would argue better, certainly in the case of Memphis) hired him subsequent to his firing here. Are those ADs just complete morons? Do the esteemed posters of GopherHole know something that two highly compensated Athletic Directors don't know? He left Texas Tech voluntarily, and a team filled with mostly his recruits just finished 2nd in the Big 12 and went to the Elite 8 last year. But people will still say that he can't recruit, and never could.
And Claeys, after taking a year off, led a fantastic defense and almost helped Mike Leach bring Washington St. (of all places) to the Rose Bowl. He may decide that he is happier being a defensive coordinator and never seek a head coaching position again, but he absolutely could if he wanted to.
My opinion is that, despite whatever evidence presents itself, people will cling desperately to the above fictions and try to make something more out of it than it is.
I think Tubby was running out of steam. The talent he was going to have return was pretty bad. The future was looking bleak and on a downward trajectory. His firing may have a lit a fire once he was hired at TT.