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Moving expenses may have prevented Pat Summitt from becoming UK’s women’s basketball coach

After her passing this morning, the sports world is reflecting on the life and career of Pat Summitt. Summitt was the head coach at Tennessee for 38 seasons, leading the Lady Vols to eight national championships, 18 Final Fours, and 16 SEC Championships. Summitt started her career at Tennessee in 1974 at the age of 22, but as the Herald-Leader’s Mark Story wrote yesterday, there was a time in which she considered taking the women’s basketball coaching job at Kentucky. Kentucky reached out to Summitt in 1976, and, as an avid Adolph Rupp and Kentucky men’s basketball fan, she listened.

“At that time, I had no way of knowing what the (financial) commitment to (women’s basketball) would be here,” Summitt said of Tennessee. “And, because it was Kentucky, I thought that job had a lot of potential.”

Alas, the course of women’s basketball history turned over $100.

“If my memory is right, I was making $8,900 at Tennessee,” Summitt said in 1998. “Kentucky was offering $9,000. I didn’t think I could afford to move for $100.”

Looking back, there have been some interesting near-misses with famous coaches in UK Athletics history, but this may take the cake.

Could we not have shilled out a few extra hundred dollars to help Pat move to the Bluegrass??

[Lexington Herald-Leader]

Article written by Mrs. Tyler Thompson

No, I will not make you a sandwich, but you can follow me on Twitter @MrsTylerKSR or email me.

14 Comments for Moving expenses may have prevented Pat Summitt from becoming UK’s women’s basketball coach

    11:42 am June 28, 2016 Permalink

    That makes me physically sick to think about…hindsight can be a bi#*h!

  2. Kernel Sanders
    11:58 am June 28, 2016 Permalink

    Omitted is the last part of Mark Story’s LHL article, which indicates that no, Summit did not seriously consider a move from UT to UK, and yes, the offer to Summit was exaggerated to sell newspapers:

    “Still, what if Kentucky in 1976 had given Summitt more than $100 worth of reasons to move? Might the history of women’s basketball have looked very different?

    “I’m not sure, when it got right down to it, I would have ever left Tennessee,” Summitt said in 1998. “It’s hard to leave home.”

    Read more here:

    • Booby Petrino
      12:19 pm June 28, 2016 Permalink

      You sure are inferring a lot. Nowhere does it say she was not seriously considering the offer. Actually she says the opposite. She says she was intrigued by the offer and that she didn’t find it unusual that UK would offer a TN coach bc many people rooted for UK men’s basketball back then. She says she’s not sure if she would’ve taken the offer bc it’s hard to leave home. How in the hell do you get “this was exaggerated to sell newspapers, she was never considering the job” from that?

    • Booby Petrino
      12:22 pm June 28, 2016 Permalink

      “I think a lot of people in the South who cared about basketball grew up rooting for Kentucky,” Summitt said in that 1998 phone interview. “They were always my team on the men’s side, just as Tennessee was my team in football. I don’t think I was too unusual at all.”

    • Kernel Sanders
      1:22 pm June 28, 2016 Permalink

      Semantics. I inferred and posted an opinion. Lol, the offer and her “intrigue” was apparently so serious that a couple hundred $$ prevented her from heading north up I 75 to Lexington? Really? You buy that? The most honest, truest, realistic statement in all this hooey? When she said ” I’m not sure, when it got right down to it, that I would have ever left Tennessee.” I INFER that to mean even if UK offered 3 times her then current salary, her roots in TN were too deep to leave. I infer, based on the purported offer of just $100 more than her UT salary that no serious offer was made, and no serious consideration of that non-serious offer was given by Summit.

      Regardless, her passing from an insidious disease at a relatively young age is very sad.

  3. Sentient Third Eye
    12:06 pm June 28, 2016 Permalink

    In the seventies, Pat Summit could have become UK’s coach and Adolph Rupp almost became Duke’s coach after UK forced his retirement. What a different world that would have been.

  4. Bluebloodtoo
    1:21 pm June 28, 2016 Permalink

    I’m not sure I would interpret that statement the same way. To me, it would have meant that she wasn’t sure it was worth it to move her family for an extra $100 on her paycheck.

    • Han
      1:51 pm June 28, 2016 Permalink

      That’s definitely how I read it, too.

    • catdaddyd
      6:16 pm June 28, 2016 Permalink

      Same here.

  5. nybrasky
    1:23 pm June 28, 2016 Permalink

    Pat Summitt and Bear Bryant are sharing a nice laugh at our expense today — rightfully so.

  6. Billy Hill
    1:30 pm June 28, 2016 Permalink

    Surprised nobody has blamed this on Mitch…. yet.

    • cats paw
      1:41 pm June 28, 2016 Permalink

      Mitch hired BIlly Clyde over Cal (the first time around) and Stoops over Petrino. this is much worse than missing out on a girls coach

    • Sentient Third Eye
      1:58 pm June 28, 2016 Permalink

      Anybody who would want Petrino at UK needs to just become a Card fan. They’d be happier there among people with their own level of (im)moral fiber.

    • Billy Hill
      2:10 pm June 28, 2016 Permalink

      Agree.This “cats paw” seems like a real idiot. Definitely not a UK fan.