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Dick Vitale Is Furious With College Basketball Coach Firing

Dick Vitale calling a game for ESPN.

LAS VEGAS, NV - MARCH 06: Sportscaster Dick Vitale broadcasts before a semifinal game of the West Coast Conference Basketball Tournament between the Santa Clara Broncos and the Gonzaga Bulldogs at the Orleans Arena on March 6, 2017 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Gonzaga won 77-68. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

Two weeks before starting the season, Manhattan unexpectedly fired head coach Steve Masiello.

The move, which came when the sides didn't reach a contract extension before Masiello's final year, prompted senior Jose Perez to enter the transfer portal.

Responding to the news on Wednesday, ESPN's Dick Vitale called the firing "shocking and wacky."

"They had [a] chance for a strong year," Vitale wrote on Twitter. "Now his superstar is entering the transfer portal."

Perez, who led the Jaspers with 18.9 points per game last season, called Masiello "the most caring person I ever met." The MAAC Preseason Player of the Year told the New York Times' Adam Zagoria that he thinks all of his teammates will also enter the transfer portal.

He also called the decision "a joke" and retweeted Vitale's critical post.

Masiello led Manhattan to the NCAA tournament in 2014 and 2015. Following six consecutive losing campaigns, the Jaspers improved to 15-15 last season.

Manhattan athletic director Marianne Reilly said the school considered it "time to begin rebuilding from the top down" in a statement released Tuesday. RaShawn Stores will serve as the interim head coach.