BINGHAMTON FIRES EX-OWL MACON

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Mark Macon spent 4 years at Binghamton and compiled a 24-68 record in three seasons as head coach. (Keith Srakokic/AP file photo)

VESTAL, N.Y. - Former Temple star Mark Macon was fired Monday as the head basketball coach at Binghamton.

Director of athletics Patrick Elliott made the announcement, saying the decision "comes after a thorough assessment of our current program and my expectations for the future."

Macon said he was "surprised" at the move. His contract went through February 2014.

"In this job, you're hired to be fired," Macon said in a telephone interview with the Associated Press. "I don't hold any ill will toward Binghamton University. They gave me a great opportunity and I'm just grateful to have had that chance. It was just amazing to get an opportunity to be a head coach."

Assistant coaches Ron Brown and Julius Smith also are not being retained.

Macon spent 4 years at Binghamton and compiled a 24-68 record in three seasons as head coach. He took over after Kevin Broadus was suspended for recruiting violations in October 2009 and eventually let go. Six players were dismissed from that team, some for committing criminal acts, as the small state university in upstate New York paid the price for compromising academics for athletic success.

The Bearcats took the America East Conference title and won the conference tournament to earn their first berth in the NCAA Tournament in March 2009, but finished 2-29 this past season.