Was college basketball’s all-time winningest coach forced to retire from the Tennessee women’s basketball team? That depends on which statement from Pat Summitt you choose to believe.CNN got their hands on an affidavit Summitt recently filed as part of a lawsuit brought forth by the former Tennessee media relations director. In that affidavit, Summitt claims that she was told during a meeting with Athletic Director Dave Hart that she would no longer be the women’s basketball coach.
Summitt wrote that “this was very surprising to me and very hurtful,” as she had wanted to make that decision herself.
However, after the contents of the affidavit were made public, Summitt contradicted the allegation. In a statement (via ESPN.com), Summitt said “it was entirely [her] decision to step down” as coach of the women’s basketball team. She added that she never felt “forced out.”
In the end, we may just be dealing with whether or not Tennessee showed Summitt the level of respect she had earned. Even if she wasn’t forced out (if that happened), Summitt, who has been diagnosed with early onset dementia, likely would have retired anyway. And if the affidavit is true, it sounds like Tennessee erred in not giving her a chance to do that on her own.
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