Category Archives: Pat Summitt

Tennessee-UConn? Forget It

by Categorized: Connecticut Sun, Holly Warlick, Pat Summitt, Tennessee women's basketball, UConn women's basketball Date:

Was roaming around the web this afternoon – what else to do on a rainy day – and noticed this piece on that mentioned the possibility of UConn and Tennessee playing again some day in the regular season.

I had to look because I would love it if it happened.

But I need to tell you this: Earlier this week I called Tennessee after seeing a picture of Geno and Holly Warlick in the Knoxville News taken on Women’s Hall of Fame induction night last Saturday.

They were smiling. Broadly. I grew hopeful. Peace at last.

So I called Tennessee on Monday and asked if I could speak to Warlick to ask her if this picture meant good things for the renewal of the series that ended in 2007.

Tennessee would not even put her on the phone.

I was told the program had made a statement in May saying the series would not be renewed and they were sticking to their story.

So take that for what its worth. I have been told by a few people that ride the fence in this rivalry, meaning they don’t take partisan sides, that Warlick will not reschedule UConn out of respect to Coach Summitt’s wishes.

And as long as Coach Summitt is anywhere near the program, it is not expected to happen – not for the good of the game, not to promote the Summitt’s charity, not if ESPN crawls to Knoxville on its knees.

So be it, Tennessee. Good luck to you.

UConn likely will be there in March playing for a ninth national title, not the least bit exhausted from its season in The American.

Maybe the Lady Vols will be, too.

Kara Lawson To Win WNBA’s Dawn Staley Award

by Categorized: Connecticut Sun, Kara Lawson, Pat Summitt, Tennessee women's basketball, WNBA Date:

The WNBA will annnounce later today that Connecticut Sun guard Kara Lawson is the recipient of the Dawn Staley Community Leadership Award in recognition of her community service. Named after the former WNBA and Olympic star – and current South Carolina coach – the award seeks to recognize a player whose outreach inspires others.

During the 2012 season, Lawson donated $50 for each three-pointer made to the Pat Summitt Foundation in honor of her collegiate coach. Summitt was diagnosed with early-onset dementia.  Lawson, however, inspired by her former coach wanted to do more than donate money; she immersed herself in a cause with the goal of inspiring others.  Summitt, the legendary coaching figure who guided the Tennessee women’s basketball program to 1,098 wins and eight national championships, announced she was stepping down from the Lady Vols in April of 2012. 

 The Pat Summitt Foundation seeks to raise awareness of Alzheimer’s, its causes and help work towards a cure.  For 2012, Lawson finished the season with a team-record 74 3-pointers, and her donation was matched by the Connecticut Sun Foundation, the Mohegan Tribe as well as others and fan donations.  In total, the three-point campaign raised 32,000.

  In January of 2013, Lawson was named an honorary co-chair of the Pat Summitt Foundation Advisory Board.


Auriemma Joins The Big Boys (And Pat Summitt) With His New Deal

by Categorized: Geno Auriemma, Pat Summitt, Tennessee women's basketball, UConn women's basketball Date:

After UConn defeated his team by 68 points in the first round of the NCAA Tournament last week at Gampel Pavilion, Idaho coach Jon Newlee compared Geno Auriemma to James Naismith, the inventor of basketball, and UCLA coach John Wooden, its renown wizard.

On Tuesday, UConn made sure Auriemma was paid like it.

Auriemma and the UConn have agreed to a five-year contract extension that will run through 2017-18 and take Hall of Fame coach to his 64th birthday.

Auriemma will earn $10.8 million, not including bonuses, making him the highest paid women’s basketball coach in the history of the game. His last deal paid him $8 million over five years.

Tennessee coach Pat Summitt signed a five-year extension in February 2009 that paid $1.4 million in 2008-09. She also received a $200,000 bonus when she won her 1,000th game that year.

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Geno Offers Little Response To Summitt’s Book

by Categorized: Big East women's basketball, Geno Auriemma, Pat Summitt, Tennessee women's basketball Date:

Geno Auriemma said Thursday that he hadn’t read the passages in Pat Summitt’s book that refer to her relationship with him and the UConn women’s basketball program.

Six pages in Summitt’s new book “Sum It Up” go into detail about the UConn-Tennessee rivalry and the up and down relationship the two Hall of Fame coaches have had during Auriemma’s career.

Summitt was mostly complimentary, although she did say she stopped playing UConn before Maya Moore’s career began because she was upset about some of the recruiting tactics used by the program. Summitt offered no specifics, however.

It should be noted that UConn was essentially cleared by the NCAA of any wrong-doing in Moore’s recruitment, which was categorized as a secondary violation. The university helped organize a visit to ESPN for Maya and her mother when she was in high school.

She also said she was upset with Auriemma about an incident surrounding a Tennessee loss to Xavier a few years back. Summitt said word got back to her that Geno had predicted the Lady Vols would lose and that Summitt “would throw her players under the bus” after it. Summitt said she communicated with Auriemma via a fax to see if the allegation was correct and that he didn’t respond.

The note, which Summitt says appeared to be in Auriemma’s handwriting, read: “I predicted Tennessee would lose to Xavier, and I also predicted Pat would blame her team instead of herself.”

She writes that she faxed it to Geno, asked what was up and never got a response.

The other incident, according to Summitt, happened in a restaurant. Auriemma apparently was calling Summitt’s name in such a manner that the Lady Vols coach felt compelled to leave the facility.

“He made me so uncomfortable by shouting my name derisively that I left the premises,” Summitt wrote.

“I don’t remember anything about either of those incidents [Xavier and the restaurant],” Auriemma said Thursday. “If you would tell where, when or at what time, I might be able to remember. But I don’t remember.”

Summitt said her relationship with Auriemma has been on the upswing lately, especially after he donated $10,000 to her charity devoted to researching Alzheimer’s and dementia.

“Once basketball is not involved, sure, I would agree with that [the relationship is better],” he said. “Sure. Absolutely.”

The book, written with Sally Jenkins of the Washington Post, is due to be released March 5.







Pat Summitt Dishes On Geno In “Sum It Up”

by Categorized: Big East women's basketball, Geno Auriemma, Pat Summitt, Tennessee women's basketball, UConn women's basketball Date:

Pat Summitt’s new book, “Sum It Up” written by longtime friend Sally Jenkins of the Washington Post, hits the bookstores on March 5, right smack in the middle of Big East Tournament time.

It is a book about her life, her career, her triumphs and failures, her future, her friends and her rivals.

Within the book are six pages devoted to her relationship with Geno Auriemma. While not voluminous or particularly antagonist, Summitt offers interesting revelations about her friendship with Geno – what made it good and what turned it sour.

And what turned it sour, as you will see, is what caused her to end the series with UConn prior to Maya Moore’s arrival.

Courant sports editor Jeff Otterbein reviewed an advance copy of the book and chronicles much of what Tennessee’s Hall of Fame coach said about Auriemma and UConn.

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Ten Things To Keep An Eye (Or Two) On Tonight

by Categorized: Baylor women's basketball, Big East women's basketball, Bria Hartley, Brittney Griner, Chris Dailey, ESPN2, Geno Auriemma, Kelly Faris, Morgan Tuck, Pat Summitt, Stefanie Dolson, Susan Herbst, UConn women's basketball, Warde Manuel, XL Center Date:

1). Kim Mulkey’s outfit: The Baylor coach is known for her interesting – some may say eccentric – fashion sense. Baubles and bangles. We do anticipate Texas sparkle, with an accent of pink, since it is breast cancer awareness night. Just don’t try to out-dress Chris Dailey. We are from Connecticut and we keep score.

2). Officiating: The most crucial aspect of the game, certainly from UConn’s perspective. Is the crew going to let Stefanie Dolson and Brittney Griner do their thing without literally blowing the game with whistles. If not, keep an eye on the assistants, who will be holding back the head coaches.

3). Odyssey Sims: Who do the Huskies defend her with, since everything you hear seems to indicate no one cares how many points Griner scores. Kelly Faris? Oh yes, at some point, Kelly Faris. Don’t ya think?

4). Bria Hartley: She won this game two years ago as a freshman. It got Morgan Tuck so excited on her campus visit that she said yes to program when it was over. No sniffling allowed, Bria. This is a game made for WBCA All-Americans. That’s you.

5). Empty seats: The XL Center will be virtually sold out tonight, a scene that harkens back to the good old days when orange pants suits were the must-see attraction. And we don’t mean Jody Conradt.

6). High-low: Me thinks the Huskies are going to try and lure Griner away from the basket by asking Dolson to sink a 17-footer or two or three or four. Me thinks Baylor will let her shoot there all night and take its chances guarding her with smaller defenders. Do you move the Empire State Building to Queens just because someone dares you?

7). Not a big deal: I beg both coaches not to tell us after the game that this game was not a big deal. Women’s basketball is scorched earth. This game is the monsoon its been waiting for.

8). Dave O’Brien and Doris Burke: To ESPN2’s crew, we would like to apologize for not being able to provide LeBron James [for Doris] or Alfredo Aceves [for Dave, who calls Red Sox games in the summer] to entertain you better. But this is all we have to give.

9). Good seats: Make sure you take a look at who is seating in the courtside seats today. I can guarantee you, those people are very important to Susan Herbst and Warde Manuel.

10). Three-point shots: UConn takes a lot of them. Baylor doesn’t take as many. Three is one more than two. Keep that it mind.

Coach Summitt (Tyler) On His Mother And Basketball

by Categorized: Geno Auriemma, Marquette women's basketball, Pat Summitt, Tennessee women's basketball, Tyler Summitt, UConn women's basketball Date:

I had the opportunity before today’s game against Marquette to visit with Golden Eagles first-year assistant, Tyler Summitt, the son of the Hall of Fame women’s basketball coach of Tennessee.

Tyler Summitt, 22, was hired by Marquette in May, on the same day his mother stepped down as Lady Vols coach after spending the 2011-12 season balancing her job with her newly diagnosed illness – early stage dementia.

Tyler Summitt saw each of the 22 UConn-Tennessee games, from the time she was 5 years old, getting different perspectives as he was growing up. But Saturday was the first time he’d ever been on the opposite sideline, plotting against Geno Auriemma, his mother’s biggest rival during their careers.

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Kara Lawson, Peyton Manning On Pat Summitt Advisory Board

by Categorized: Pat Summitt Date:

Here’s the release sent out by the Pat Summitt Foundation:

Knoxville, Tenn. Jan. 8, 2013, – The Pat Summitt Foundation, a fund of East Tennessee Foundation, announced today the establishment of a 13- member Advisory Board to guide the Foundation in strategically building and utilizing its resources to achieve the organization’s mission and vision. Jim Haslam II, founder and chairman emeritus of Pilot Corporation of Knoxville, has been named board chairman. Haslam joins the foundation in also announcing the board’s honorary co-chairs. They are WNBA All-Star and ESPN Analyst Kara Lawson and NFL four-time MVP and Denver Broncos Quarterback Peyton Manning.

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