Pat Summit, Winningest NCAA Basketball Coach of All Time, Possibly Forced Into Retirement


Pat Summitt, the most victorious NCAA basketball coach of all time, said in an affidavit today that she was forced into retirement after being diagnosed with early-onset dementia. What’s interesting is that it previously appeared she’d left the team of her own free will and on good terms — but according to Huffington Post, that’s no longer the case:

The suit indicates [Tennessee athletic director] Hart spoke with [former Lady Vols media director] Jennings at a May 15 meeting and gave her less than three hours to choose whether to resign, retire or be fired. The suit charges that she lost her job either due to her gender and age or out of retaliation for her advocacy of gender-equity issues, opposition to discrimination against female student-athletes and opposition to sex, disability or age discrimination.

I don’t know a basketball from a watermelon (lie, I absolutely can tell a watermelon from a basketball), but it appears that there are two issues: 1) was Summitt forced out because of early-onset dementia? And 2) why is she just now filing lawsuits? The story is murky at this point, but I do know that male coaches are protected and revered through thick-and-thin (and we’re talking about child molestation levels of emaciation here) but maybe that’s not the case with the ladies? Maybe female coaches are forced out at the first inkling that something might be off — even if they coached their team through 38 seasons and led them to more major college basketball wins than any other team OF ALL TIME.

It’s still unclear what’s going on here, but whatever it is, here’s hoping it’s not super shady.

UPDATE: As commenters have mentioned, it’s not Summitt who filed the lawsuit, but rather former Lady Vols media director Debby Jennings. Apparently Jennings was fired for telling Tennessee athletic director Dave Hart that he shouldn’t have fired Summitt. Summitt’s affidavit confirms that what Jennings’ said is accurate.

Pat Summitt Affidavit: Ex-Tennessee Coach Initially Felt Forced Out Of Job Over Early-Onset Dementia [Huffington Post]

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