Pat Summitt

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

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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 CollegeHoops.net and can be followed on Twitter at @raphiellej.

Gonzaga’s NCAA tournament chances take a major blow in loss to No. 16 SMU

SMU guard Nic Moore (11) shoots over Gonzaga forward Kyle Wiltjer (33) during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game, Saturday, Feb. 13, 2016, in Dallas. (AP Photo/Jim Cowsert)
(AP Photo/Jim Cowsert)
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Nic Moore scored 18 of his 25 points in the second half and added 11 assists as No. 16 SMU knocked off Gonzaga in Moody Coliseum on Saturday night, 69-60.

The Zags got 20 points and 16 boards from Domantas Sabonis, but Kyle Wiltjer scored just four points and shot 2-for-17 from the floor.

It wasn’t pretty.

And it may have been the end of Gonzaga’s NCAA tournament hopes.

Entering Saturday, the Zags had an RPI in the mid-60s, enough to keep them in the bubble conversation but not enough to make them anything more than a team that will be projected to end up on the cut-line.

The issue is a complete lack of quality wins on their résumé. Gonzaga beat UConn in the Bahamas. That’s a borderline top 50 win. They beat Washington, another borderline top 50 win. Beyond that? They swept Pepperdine, beat Tennessee and own a win over Montana. None of those are top 100 wins, and that’s why the SMU game was such a big deal. The Mustangs are a top 25 team. This was a road game. This win was the kind of thing that the Zags could pin at the top of their profile.

But Wiltjer didn’t show up, the Zags had no answer for Moore and they’ll head back to Spokane needing, in all likelihood, to win the WCC’s automatic bid if they want to dance.

POSTERIZED: Cal’s Jaylen Brown has his dunk contest entry

California's Jaylen Brown lays up a shot against Oregon State in the second half of an NCAA college basketball game Saturday, Feb. 13, 2016, in Berkeley, Calif. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)
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Cal picked up a big win over Oregon State in Haas Pavilion on Saturday night, and the exclamation point was this emphatic dunk from Jaylen Brown: