Lady Vols cried foul at UConn recruiting
KNOXVILLE (AP) — Tennessee filed more than 30 pages of documents with the Southeastern Conference in 2006 complaining of the recruiting practices of Connecticut’s women’s basketball program.
Newspaper articles, photos and Internet chatroom transcripts were among the items submitted by Tennessee alleging a pattern of violations, according to public documents obtained by The News-Sentinel in Knoxville.
Lady Vols coach Pat Summitt declined comment to the newspaper. Tennessee athletic director Joan Cronan said in a statement that the university has “nothing further to add.”
The series between the nation’s most storied women’s programs, which began in 1995, was canceled in June 2007 after the Lady Vols announced they were pulling out.
The complaints by Tennessee were filed to the SEC during a five-month period in 2006, according to public records.
Tennessee submitted two newspaper stories in which prospect Caroline Doty described how a conversation in Auriemma’s office with former UConn stars Diana Taurasi and Sue Bird played a factor in her choosing the Huskies.
There’s also a reference to a student-athlete, who’s name was redacted, telling her AAU coach that Taurasi and Bird met her at the door of Gampel Pavilion upon her arrival for the 2005 Super Show and escorted her to the coaches’ office.
A chatroom entry submitted described Bird and Taurasi “schmoozing” with then-top prospect Elena Delle Donne after her visit to Super Show, an annual Connecticut event in October that typically draws former players and recruits.
Other Super Show complaints included fans tailoring signs for recruits and then giving them to their parents. Media members interviewing recruits also was submitted.
In the 2006 letter, Cronan said the information submitted by Tennessee, “comes as a result of discussion among basketball coaches at the SEC spring meeting, information shared by AAU and high school coaches, prospective student-athletes, as well as numerous other individuals.”
Information from: The Knoxville News Sentinel, http://www.knoxnews.com