Thursday, December 14, 2017
Sports

Summitt at first believed she was being forced out by Vols

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Pat Summitt said in an affidavit that she initially felt she was being forced to step down as the women's basketball coach by Tennessee athletic director Dave Hart, who later told Summitt that she had misinterpreted his comments.

The signed affidavit was part of a lawsuit filed against the university by former Vols media director Debby Jennings. In it, Summitt said Hart told her before the NCAA Tournament that she would have to step down at the end of the season. Summitt had revealed before the season that she was battling early onset dementia.

"This was very surprising to me and very hurtful, as that was a decision I would have liked to have made on my own at the end of the season after consulting with my doctors, colleagues and friends and not be told this by Mr. Hart," Summitt said in the affidavit. "I felt this was wrong."

Summitt went on to say in the affidavit that Hart later told her that she had misinterpreted what he had said.

Jennings' lawsuit alleges that age and sex discrimination led to her forced retirement at 57 from the school where she had worked for 35 years.

Tennessee officials had no immediate response. Summitt's son, Tyler, wrote in an e-mail to the Associated Press that, "We are not going to comment right now on this matter."

Since announcing her retirement, Summitt has not indicated that she is unhappy about how her coaching career ended.

ACC sticks to 8 games: The ACC dropped a plan to play nine conference football games starting next season. The league announced in February it would have a nine-game football schedule once Pittsburgh and Syracuse moved from the Big East to the ACC. But with Notre Dame now set to play five games against ACC teams every season, starting no later than 2015, conference leaders decided to stick with an eight-game schedule.

Dawgs loses top WR: No. 5 Georgia has lost leading receiver Michael Bennett for the rest of the season after he tore the ACL in his right knee in practice and will need surgery. The third-year sophomore has 24 catches for 345 yards and four touchdowns, developing into one of Aaron Murray's favorite targets.

Big 12 refutes apology: The league disputed a report by the Oklahoman newspaper that the Big 12 coordinator of officials "apologized profusely" to Oklahoma State coach Mike Gundy for an incorrect call in a 41-36 loss to Texas. A league spokesman declined further comment when contacted by ESPN.com. According to the Oklahoman, Walt Anderson told Gundy that head linesman Brad Edwards signaled touchdown, putting the Longhorns ahead, without a proper view of the ball.

Arrested for threat: Former Arkansas linebacker Bret Harris, 23, was arrested for allegedly threatening to kill the school's head athletic trainer on his Twitter account. Harris was arrested by university police and is charged with a felony count of terroristic threatening against Matt Summers. The school declined to comment.

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