Lady Vols’ retired Summitt: ‘It
was a really great ride for me’
Pat Summitt was relaxed, smiling and even cracking jokes – looking and sounding at peace knowing she never will coach her beloved Tennessee Lady Vols again.
The Hall of Fame coach who eight months ago revealed she had been diagnosed with early-onset dementia, Alzheimer’s type, has turned the program over to longtime assistant Holly Warlick.
“It was really a great ride for me,” Summitt said Thursday in Knoxville, speaking on the Tennessee basketball court named after her before a crowd of about 200 fans, faculty and friends.
“I just felt like it was time for me to step down knowing that Holly was going to be in great hands,” Summitt said. “She’s a great coach, and you know I’m going to continue to support her. You know, it’s never a good time, but you have to find the time that you think is the right time, and that is now.”
She will become Tennessee’s new “head coach emeritus,” with the school paying her the $1 million bonus she would have been due once she coached her 40th season.
Summitt, who guided the Lady Vols to 1,098 wins – more than any other coach in NCAA history – during her 38 years at Tennessee, will receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor, this year.
In announcing the honor, President Barack Obama said Summitt is an “inspiration” for her willingness to “speak so openly and courageously about her battle with Alzheimer’s.”
Also: President Obama honored the Alabama football team for winning the Bowl Championship Series title to culminate what he called a “deeply meaningful season for the Tide.”
Obama’s message to the Crimson Tide as the team joined him at the White House went beyond their second national title in three seasons and a 21-0 shutout of Louisiana State in the BCS championship game in January.
He praised the Tide coaches and players for their efforts in the Alabama community, noting their role in helping rebuild Tuscaloosa, Ala., after devastating tornadoes touched down in April 2011.
“Now, obviously this is a team that knows something about adversity,” Obama said. “It was one year ago next week that an F4 tornado carved a path right through the town of Tuscaloosa. I traveled down there two days later to see the devastation with the mayor and the governor. And I’ve got to tell you, I’d never seen anything like it.”
Penn State said it has provided more than $5.5 million in payments and benefits to settle Joe Paterno’s employment contract.
School spokesman Bill Mahon said the university and Paterno’s estate finalized the remaining payments due to the longtime coach, who was fired in November in the wake of former assistant Jerry Sandusky’s arrest on child sexual abuse charges.
Paterno died of lung cancer in January.
Former Arkansas football coach Bobby Petrino detailed the history and extent of his relationship with his mistress to athletic director Jeff Long in a failed attempt to keep his job.
The details are in handwritten notes kept by Long during their meeting on April 10.
In the notes, Petrino told Long that he kissed Jessica Dorrell during an October lunch outing. It’s unclear when the relationship turned sexual, but Long’s notes seem to indicate the two decided they should be only friends in early February.
Wisconsin will allow freshman forward Jarrod Uthoff to transfer to any school outside the Big Ten, hoping to defuse a situation that has drawn national criticism.
The school said the 6-foot-8-inch Uthoff asked for permission to contact 16 schools, and the Badgers rejected four of them, believed to be Big Ten rivals.
Former Penn State assistant women’s soccer coach Michael Coll was hired to take over UNLV’s program, the school announced.
During his time on the Nittany Lions’ staff, Coll helped guide the squad to five appearances in the NCAA Sweet 16, as well as a trip to the College Cup national semifinals in 2005.
He replaces Jennifer Klein, who resigned in March after two seasons.
Every shoots course-record 63,
takes early lead in Texas Open
Matt Every shot a course-record 9-under-par 63 to take a three-stroke lead over Hunter Haas after the first round of the Texas Open in San Antonio.
Every, who never has finished higher than third on the PGA Tour, had nine birdies in a bogey-free round. It was a career best on the notoriously unforgiving TPC San Antonio course.
Ben Curtis opened with a 67, and Fredrik Jacobson, Cameron Beckman, Jason Gore, Troy Matteson and Derek Lamely shot 68.
Also: Spain’s Azahara Munoz shot an 8-under 64 in blustery conditions for a share of the second-round lead with Japan’s Ai Miyazato at the LPGA LOTTE Championship in Kapolei, Hawaii. They are at 8-under 136.
Munoz, winless on the LPGA Tour, holed out from 102 yards for eagle on the par-4 sixth hole and had eight birdies and a bogey. Miyazato, a seven-time winner on the tour, had a bogey-free 65.
Local favorite Michelle Wie missed the cut for the third straight event, following her opening 78 with a 76.
England’s Matthew Baldwin shot a 7-under 65 in calm early conditions at Binhai Lake in Tianjin to take a one-shot lead over six players after the first-round of the PGA Europe Tour’s China Open.
Defending champion Lee Westwood shot a 7-under 65 to take a two-shot lead over Thailand’s Arnond Vongvanij after the first round of the Asian Tour’s Indonesian Masters in Jakarta.
Tiger Woods’ swing coach said criticism of his client is getting out of hand.
“I know everyone has a job to do, and I get it,” Foley said this week on “Fairways of Life,” a radio show hosted by Matt Adams on XM Sirius. “But if it is about the game of golf, Tiger Woods is an extremely important part of the game, and I think everyone understands that. It has just gotten to the point where the tearing down of Tiger as a person and a golfer has become just too much. I think it is just out of hand.”
Woods has been under more scrutiny than any other golfer since he turned pro in 1996 when he was 20 and won twice in seven starts on the PGA Tour. The criticism has sharpened in the two years since Woods was exposed for extramarital affairs that cost him his marriage and impeccable image.
Baylor women’s basketball star
Griner plans to sit out Olympics
Baylor standout center Brittney Griner will not play for the U.S. women’s basketball team at the London Olympics this summer.
The 6-foot-8-inch Griner, considered a candidate for the 12th and final roster spot on the national team, cited an unspecified family illness and her summer school schedule when she said she would not be able to play.
In a statement released by her school, Griner said she had informed USA women’s team director Carol Callan of her decision.
Also: Questioning of potential jurors in the Roger Clemens perjury case was completed after nearly four days, and opening arguments are set for Monday.
The judge, prosecutors and defense lawyers settled on the pool of 36 prospective jurors from which the final 12 jurors and four alternates will be picked Monday.
The extra 20 are needed because Clemens’ lawyers are allowed to strike 12 candidates and prosecutors eight, without giving any reason.
Clemens, a seven-time Cy Young Award winner, is accused of lying to Congress in 2008 when he said he never used performance-enhancing drugs.
Novak Djokovic played just hours after learning about the death of his grandfather and defeated Alexandr Dolgopolov 2-6, 6-1, 6-4 to reach the quarterfinals of the Monte Carlo Masters in Monaco.
Seven-time defending champion and second-seeded Rafael Nadal followed Djokovic on court and thrashed Mikhail Kukushkin 6-1, 6-1, conceding only six points on his serve and breaking the Kazakh qualifier five times.
After clinching victory on his first match point, the top-seeded Djokovic crouched over with his hands on his knees as Dolgopolov applauded him.
Also advancing were No. 3 seed Andy Murray of Britain and No. 4 seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga of France.