Summitt: Tennessee did not force me out
Posted: Wednesday, October 10, 2012 12:00 pm
By STEVE MEGARGEE
AP Sports Writer
KNOXVILLE (AP) — Pat Summitt said Friday she decided on her own not to continue coaching the Lady Vols and never felt Tennessee athletic director Dave Hart forced her out.
“It was entirely my decision to step down from my position as the head coach of women’s basketball at the University of Tennessee,” Summitt said in a three-paragraph statement in response to the “misunderstandings” created by her comments in a signed affidavit that was released Wednesday.
Summitt said she wanted to clarify her comments in the affidavit.
“I did not then, and I do not now, feel that I was ‘forced out’ by the university,” said Summitt, who has been diagnosed with early-onset dementia.
“Anyone who knows me knows that any such effort would have met with resistance. If my affidavit has caused confusion on that point, it needs to be dispelled.”
In the affidavit that was part of a lawsuit filed by the former Lady Vols media director Debby Jennings against the university and Hart, Summitt said the AD told her on March 14 that her she would not be returning — “a decision I would have liked to have made on my own.”
Friday’s statement was in line with what Summitt had said when she announced she would not be returning as the Lady Vols coach.
“As I stated at my press conference in April when I announced my decision, I loved being the head coach for 38 years, but after consultation with my son, my doctors, my lawyer and several close friends, I concluded that the time had come to move into the future and step into a new role,” Summitt said in the statement.
“I have welcomed and enjoyed my new role as head coach emeritus, and I am excited for the opportunities that now await my dear friend and colleague Holly Warlick as head coach.” Published in The WCP 10.9.12