Pat Summitt

Pat Summitt says she initially believed she was being forced to retire in affidavit

1 Comment

According to a sworn affidavit former Tennessee women’s basketball coach Pat Summitt stated that she initially felt she was being forced to retire by athletic director Dave Hart.

The affidavit was filed as a supplement to former Lady Vols media director Debby Jennings’ lawsuit, in which Jennings alleges that she was forced to retire after 35 years at the school.

In the lawsuit Jennings is alleging that the University of Tennessee discriminating against her due to both her age and gender led to Jennings’ forced retirement.

In the suit it is stated that Jennings protested that Summitt being diagnosed with early-onset dementia protected her due to the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Jennings’ suit also argued that Hart retaliated against Jennings when she protested that Summitt’s early onset dementia protected her from losing her job under the Americans With Disabilities Act. Jennings said in the original complaint that Summitt informed her of Hart’s intentions after that March meeting. Jennings indicated in the suit that she sent a written protest to Hart asking him to reconsider, and that he sent her an angry email in response.

According to Summitt’s affidavit Hart notified her of his plan to make Holly Warlick, who was Summitt’s longtime assistant, head coach while making Summitt head coach emeritus in a March 14 meeting.

“This was very surprising to me and very hurtful, as that was a decision I would have liked to have made on my own at the end of the season after consulting with my doctors, colleagues and friends and not be told this by Mr. Hart,” Summitt said in the affidavit. “I felt this was wrong.”

Hart would later tell Summitt that she misunderstood his words according to the affidavit, and school spokeswoman Margie Nichols told the Knoxville News-Sentinel that the new position was Summitt’s idea.

Summitt retired as the all-time wins leader in college basketball with 1,098 victories to go along with eight national titles, but this lawsuit could make what outsiders likely thought was a seamless transition look anything but.

According to the Associated Press neither school officials nor the Summitt family had any comment in regards to the affidavit outside of Nichols’ brief dispute of the account.

So was Summitt ushered out of the position or not? The lawsuit that Jennings has filed could very well reveal the answer to that question.

Raphielle is also the assistant editor at and can be followed on Twitter at @raphiellej.

POSTERIZED: Wyoming’s Josh Adams takes flight

Josh Adams
Associated Press
Leave a comment

Not only is Wyoming senior guard Josh Adams the lone returning starter from a team that won the Mountain West tournament last season, but he’s also one of college basketball’s best dunkers. And if anyone may have forgotten about his jumping ability, Adams put it on display Saturday during the Cowboys’ win over Montana State.

After splitting two Montana State players at the top of the key Adams attacked the basket, dunking with two hands over a late-arriving help-side defender. If you’re going to rotate over, have to do it quicker than that.

Video credit: Wyoming Athletics

Defensive progress will determine No. 4 Iowa State’s ceiling

Monte Morris
Associated Press
Leave a comment

Even with the coaching change from Fred Hoiberg to Steve Prohm, No. 4 Iowa State remains one of the nation’s best offensive teams. Given their skills on that end of the floor many teams find it tough to go score for score with the Cyclones, and that’s what happened to Illinois in Iowa State’s 84-73 win in the Emerald Coast Classic title game.

Georges Niang scored 23 points and grabbed eight rebounds, with Monté Morris adding 20, nine rebounds and six assists and Abdel Nader 18 points as the Cyclones moved to 5-0 on the season. The three-pointers weren’t falling in the second half, as Iowa State shot 0-f0r-12, but they shot 19-for-24 inside of the arc to pull away from a team that lost big man Mike Thorne Jr. late in the first half to a left knee injury.

Illinois’ loss of size in the paint opened things up offensively for Iowa State, and the Cyclones took advantage. But where this group grabbed control of the game was on the defensive end of the floor, and that will be the key for a team with Big 12 and national title aspirations.

Nader took on the responsibility of defending Illinois’ Malcolm Hill (20 points) in the second half and did a solid job of keeping the junior wing in check, with that serving as the spark to a 12-2 run that put the game away. There’s no denying that the Cyclones can put points on the board; most of the talent from last season is back and the productivity on that end of the floor hasn’t changed as a result. Niang’s one of the nation’s best forwards, and both Morris (who now ranks among the country’s best point guards) and Nader have taken significant strides in their respective games.

Iowa State will add Deonte Burton in December, giving them another option to call upon. Front court depth is a bit of a concern, as Iowa State can ill afford to lose a Niang or Jameel McKay, but there’s enough on the roster to compensate for that and force mismatches in other areas.

But the biggest question for this group is how effective they can become at stringing together stops. Illinois certainly had its moments in both halves Saturday night, but Iowa State also showed during the game’s decisive stretch that they can step up defensively. The key now is to do so consistently, and if that occurs the Cyclones can be a threat both within the Big 12 and nationally.