Talk radio listeners fume over claim that Summitt was forced out

Talk radio listeners fume over claim that Summitt was forced out

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The phones at Sports 180 were ringing off the hook as fans shared their opinions over the recent developments. The phones at Sports 180 were ringing off the hook as fans shared their opinions over the recent developments.

By ALEXIS ZOTOS
6 News Reporter

KNOXVILLE (WATE) – Lady Vols fans are upset at the notion that Pat Summitt may have been forced out as head coach of the Lady Vols.

On Wednesday, a sworn affidavit from Summitt was released saying athletics director Dave Hart told her she would not be coaching this season.

The three-page affidavit from Pat Summitt stirred a lot of questions and anger from fans on sports radio Thursday.

The phones at Sports 180 were ringing off the hook as fans shared their opinions over the recent developments.

"I want Dave Hart fired, and I want him fired today. Pat Summitt is an icon and Pat Summitt deserves the respect to write her own ticket," said one caller.

Hosts Josh Ward and Will West responded to the affidavit, calling this a public relations nightmare now that there are two very different stories being told. 

"Either Pat Summitt completely lost it or Dave Hart is just a bad dude that lies a lot. That's kind of where we're at right now with the two polar points that people are gravitating towards. The answer is probably somewhere in the middle," Will West said responding to another caller.

In the sworn affidavit Summitt said in a March 14 meeting Dave Hart "indicated to [her] that [she] would not be coaching the Lady Vols basketball team in the next school year."

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

However this contradicts what Coach Summitt said in her press conference on April 19.

"I guess I just felt like it was time for me to step down," she told the public.

It also doesn't match what her son, Tyler Summitt, said in the same press conference.

"This was her decision and I think she took the time after the season to think and what she has always taught me is to put the team before yourself," Tyler Summitt said.

Those statements raise many questions about what really happened.

"Why did they say that if it wasn't [true]? There's still a lot of questions, the story's developing quickly and well need to get answers soon," said Ward.

In the affidavit, Pat Summitt also said she met with Dave Hart after the March 14 meeting and she said he told her she "misinterpreted" their earlier conversation.

6 News was unable to reach Pat Summitt.  Debby Jennings' attorney said he did not feel it was appropriate to comment at this time.

Officials from the University of Tennessee and the athletic department both said they did not have any comment at this time.

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