Pat Summitt files for divorce

Coach does not plan to change to maiden name

After 17 months of separation, Tennessee women’s basketball coach Pat Summitt has filed for divorce from her husband, R.B. Summitt.

Summitt’s attorney, Bernie Bernstein, filed the papers Wednesday in Blount County Circuit Court. “Irreconcilable differences” were cited as the reason.

The couple has been separated since March of last year.

Summitt didn’t offer much comment on the matter Thursday. She said both sides are trying to reach an amicable settlement.

“We’re working toward trying to effect an equitable solution,’’ Bernstein said, “but only time will tell.”

The filing will serve to expedite the process. R.B. Summitt, who is the president of Sevier County Bank, has 30 days to respond.

R.B. Summitt, 56, couldn’t be reached for comment.

The couple has one child. Ross Tyler Summitt, a junior at Webb School, will be 17 next month. Bernstein said custody really isn’t an issue. Ross Tyler lives with his mother.

Summitt did say she doesn’t plan to change her name. A campus street and the court at Thompson-Boling Arena are named after her. The basketball court at UT-Martin, her alma mater, is named after her as well, along with a campus street.

The filing came almost a week before the couple’s 27th wedding anniversary. They were married Aug. 23, 1980, at Mt. Carmel United Methodist Church near Clarksville, Tenn.

Summitt, 55, is preparing for her 34th season as Tennessee’s head coach. The Lady Vols will be defending national champions, having won the program’s seventh championship last April with a 59-46 victory over Rutgers in Cleveland.

Dan Fleser covers women’s basketball. He can be reached at 865-342-6288

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Comments » 56

CoverOrange writes:

Sad news. Are they going to consider renaming the arena floor? If not, what happens if Pat remarries?

BuckFama writes:

"The Head"!?

CrankE writes:

"The Pat" !? I sure am sad to hear this.

McIntireIMP writes:

I'm dreading all of the stupid speculatory inquiries that will come of this. Atleast its happening at the cusp of football season and will die down after the next report of a 5th string jv player selling crack on the strip to an undercover police officer dressed up like hooker needing a fix.

shoalcreekvol writes:

I really hate to hear this. Watched too many friends go through divorce. This does kind of answer a curiosity of mine though - I noticed she'd been going by "Pat Head Summitt" a lot the last couple of years and I thought it was odd. I figured it was probably to honor her dad who was in such bad health during that time. Guess now I know.

Best wishes to Pat and RB. May they both find what they're looking for.

BobbyGraham writes:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

vol4jesus writes:

TRASH bin department alert!!!anance_pt take your garbage elsewhere please. Rumors that are not known to be facts are gossip and are tabloid ilk!
If you have to drag Coach through the dirt go to a sleazy chat room(still not right) to get your fill.marc_ash you say you are a therapist? Shame on you for encouraging this GARBAGE. Did the same on earlier post on 'RUPP' arena. Stand for encouraging words not mudslinging at someone elses expense. Think of poor Tyler and what he will and has been going through.

todd#529269 writes:

They should have never named the floor for her in the first place. that was embarassing!

vol4jesus writes:

Disagreeing is ok. Offended is rare but I'm sure some. I just don't take gossip and move it to the appearance of factual.If offended tell me. One did last week and life goes on. I just see no benefit to drag an unfortunate situation thru the mud.

TriCityVol writes:

How about re-naming the floor "Summitt's Pearl"
UTK Class of '79

volfandambrosio#229657 writes:

I just feel Pat has paid a hefty price to represent UT at the high level she has maintained. We owe her a debt of gratitude. I'm sorry to hear it has come to this. Frankly, I can't imagine the life of any spouse of any coach. The money does not make up for the hours apart or the critcism. Good luck to both Pat and RB.

vol4jesus writes:

Gentlemen you may put down your swords or muskets. We civilized folk will now reminisce about the days gone by and those we look forward to.Pray tell the Vols will be traveling westward soon and we pray the God of all mecry and comfort be with them in it. Until then let us draw close to the fire on this cool night(100 right now in cola sc). Goodday to you who must go to your homesteads now and Godsspeed. GOOD OLE ROCKY TOP....ROCKY TOP TENNESSEE!!! WHEW!!

BobbyGraham writes:

i was actually being complimentary of Coach Summit. i think Pokey Chapman is hot.

vol4jesus writes:

not to same gender matching . ain't natural or right.

BobbyGraham writes:

By the way, sorry to get you into trouble, marc_ash. i have not been on the computer all day so i did not know that you were getting hammered.

agentorange writes:

inquiring sports minds don't want to know or care about this stuff. it belongs in People magazine. kns should start a nice web site for faux sports news. i suggest a pretty pink backround and you can put it right next to all the news about paris and lohan. can't believe the national press picked it up either.

newtonrail writes:

I long for the day when this was still a pay site, and that kept a lot of this trash out.

FatherVol writes:

I'm with you, Newton!

DroopyDrawers writes:

Well said Newton! People that live in glass houses should not be throwing rocks.

I don't know anyone alive that is perfect.

I am behind Coach Summitt 100 per cent. Her private life is her business.

Her-ex is not perfect, nor am I.

FatherVol writes:

actually, vol4jesus, the truth can be just as harmful as unfounded facts when it is information that detracts from a person's reputation and does not need to be shared to carry on a conversation. Not every bit of information is intended for public discussion, and those that relish in sharing tidbits of truth that are harmful to another's reputaion are just as guilty of gossiping as someone who shares unsubstantiated "news" they have heard.

vol4jesus writes:

thank ewe Fathervol for the constructive criticism/insight. Gossip is gossip ...founded or unfounded.

juicetke#226846 writes:

I thought it was public knowledge that her husband cheated on her with at least 3 other women? Guess not.

jdcvols#230433 writes:

This sight needs to go back to a pay-site.

vol4jesus writes:

Both sir. Speculation/gossip as best we know was unfounded and unnecessary.Also adam and eve ,not adam and steve. Or, lindy and cindy. Yes, private lives can be lived as they choose. Doing something or society giving approval doesn't make it right. Final point 4 emphasis: abortion is legal ,but doesn't make right. So dragging her into a lesbian emphasis with no factual proof with Ms. Chapman a known was inappropriate. Have a great day:):) GO LADY VOLS!!!

vol4jesus writes:

Tough question. Had outside 3ptr. and height to drive baseline and rebound.Inside/outside game and mental toughness hard to replace. Incoming freshmen appear to be pure shooting guards or center/forwards. Time will tell.

Southland writes:

no the site does not need to be a pay site it just needs to ban certain people from participating. What jerks to insinuate something without any proof. Once a lie is put out there it can not be taken back and who knows how many idiots will believe it and once they believe it they will not change their mind because they think they got it from a reliable source. Will the rumor mongers please become Alabama fans. We don't need you

GreerVol22 writes:

KNS, do us all a favor, if you want to run another story like this, fine, just turn off the comments.

volfaninchattanooga writes:

Just curious. A question to the readers of this online paper. In light of recent events, will Pat Summit be viwed by you as a success or a failure in Life?

McIntireIMP writes:

that's a no brainer. she's a success. we will probably never know the details of the separation, quite frankly, we don't need to. This is setback in her personal life no doubt, however, sometimes you have to loosen up to get your grip or take a step back before you take two steps forward. Perhaps those sentiments should be considered by those individuals looking to pick on an easy target. Pat Summitt will always be looked at as a respectable, dignified, classy, and successful woman. You know what's funny, I cannot stand women's basketball but I have a tremendous amount of respect for Pat Summitt.

juicetke#226846 writes:

I would consider it a success to get out of a relationship where your husband was cheating on you.

raynochonspeed#212632 writes:

I'm guessing vol4jesus is the new name for busybody. Hey, vol4jesus, would it change your opinion of her coaching abilities if Pat Summitt were gay? It shouldn't. Otherwise, you are a naive and shallow individual who hides behind the Bible spewing empty and archaic platitudes instead of accepting the world as it really is. Pat Summitt is best basketball coach since John Wooden. She is also, whether you care to see the truth or not, a lesbian icon. Who cares how she conducts her private life?

volfaninchattanooga writes:

Just because the "world is the way it is", doesn't make some things right. Nothing intended towards Pat here, we really know nothing about her lifestyle.

DroopyDrawers writes:

tpvol, it correct! He admitted that he cheated on her 3 times. Don't know about the ones he didn't admit to.

Coach Summitt is top drawer in my book.

I agree this should be a pay site or comments turned off. All of this garbage can be put on Dan Fleser, the writer. I wrote him an e-mail that this trash should be stopped and received no comment.

golfpro

scvols writes:

We should all pray for Pat's family to get through this time of pain. As long as Pat praises God and believes in him, she will be okay.

vol4jesus writes:

rayno it would not change my opinion about her as a coach. The record speaks for itself! A lesbian icon? no proof of that! The flowers will fade and the grass will wither ,but the word od God will last forever. Archaic to those who don't usually want to bend the knee to anyone. Even a merciful forgiving god to those in Christ. Anyway Coach Summitt will always have my support if she stays herself. Committed to excellence on the court and in the classroom.

raynochonspeed#212632 writes:

First off, since when is this a 700 Club forum? Secondly, posters keep saying 'no proof of that' or 'prove it or shut up'. Since no one else can post about this subject without invoking God or Jesus, I'll do the same. There's no PROOF that God exists. That is the very definition of 'faith' - believing that such is true. But most of you seem to have no doubts of His existence. So Pat Summitt may be gay - big deal. It's truly surprising to me, that in this day and age, so many people can be so intolerant of others.

vol4jesus writes:

Its not 700 club forum. You are correct. When you made a statement I felt needed a more solid respose I did. I was not intolerant of her supposed state of lifestyle choice. Did not like her being classified without proof of such. For the record I see proof of Gods existence everyday in many tangible ways. Anyway bball article so GO LADY VOLS!!!

McIntireIMP writes:

you all take the comments on this board so personal you should meet up and hash it out.

pendav#661488 writes:

Divorce?! Well, what do you know? I take back everything I said about Coach Pat Head Summitt. I guess she really doesn't have a personal vendetta against Coach Geno Auriemma -- she probably just hates ALL MEN in general!

inquiry writes:

Well two goods come out of the story

1. we won't have to rename "The Summitt" to "the Head"

2. Gay Street can still be named after the Lady Vols?

vol4jesus writes:

poor taste or slip of the mind . We'll have an 'inquiry' into whether gay street was tongue in cheek or just against central avenue being named after the LADY VOLS. I think I know since it was so cutsie on both points(not). Some of these post make my head hurt momma whut shud I dew? Watch copy of national championship game over the Rutgers women? Ok momma...we win and rutgers and Don Imus lose.

vol4jesus writes:

Asking or telling?Word says He hates big D. Allowed due to hardness of man's heart. If an unsubstantiated accusation was made that somehow did not go against my beliefs(gossip still and therefoere still wrong) I would still defend her and respect. Innocent til proven guilty. Not just guilty by association with unwarranted claim. Also,no disrespect intended to you or others who don't like my perspective or sometimes including in post.For those who do, have a blessed Lords day.

abrown#232236 writes:

I don't know if she's gay or straight, but lets take her at face value. She's a great coach, leader and high achiever. A quality person. I am republican and a family man, but I am not just tolerant, I am accepting. I accept that people different than me are good. While I don't understand their urges, I don't feel the need to understand. I believe in America I believe in God and I believe that each person should be judged by their relationships/goodness to others and their environment at large -- not by our own social provincialism. All of that said, there have been gays as long as there have been humans, and so far as I can tell, they have plenty to add, and are not linked to our moral/social downfalls -- our worst problems come from a "holier than thou" mentality that cannot deal with or honor the humanity of people that don't adhere to their own footprint. I don't know if Pat is hetero, homo or an alien from Cignus X12. I do know that she is an exceptional achiever that has enriched many people with her drive for excellence and her ability to raise young people to the highest level of achievement and self realization. Whatever else, its none of our business. Lets thank her for being the person she is in public, and respect her privacy in her personal life. All through history, great people - catalysts, initiators, innovators and standard-bearers -- have come in all sorts of packages. Regardless of your own perspective and beliefs, that is a undisputable fact. So pipe down about this, MF's.

brokebackvol writes:

You know, I'm gonna love Pat no matter what, and her personal life is really not our business. All of the conjecture and nosiness is just unkind. Think about it - would you want to have to have YOUR dirty laundry aired? Not one of us is without flaw, so try talking about another exciting season coming up - defending national champions!!

andefromtn#212139 writes:

The fact is none or us are in the know as to what caused the break of Pat and RB Summitt's marriage. Nor in the great scheme of things is any of our business. Let's not lose sight there is a 17 year old young man who calls those two people Mom and Dad. If you can't respect yourself enough to hold your tongues then have compassion for Tyler.

Rumors have always swirled around successful women in athletics and many of those were not so nice. You would think in the 21st century humanity would be wiser. Why this divorce is happening could be for a number of reasons and probably only 2 people completely understand and those are ones directly involved, Pat, and RB. Tyler may not completely understand why his parents are divorcing. The best thing we could do is leave them alone in a time that is difficult at best.

Pat could be an alien for all I care because the fact is she has served our university with honor and pride for many years. She has never done one thing to deserve the swell some of you are saying. She more than deserved to have the court at UT named for her, because she is the most successful basketball coach ever in NCAA history. She has graduate 100% percent of the young women who have completed their playing time at UT. One thing I'll hold on too is the fact that Pat is tough and she has family to depend on her biological one and her ladies who she coached.

Southland writes:

thank you, why in the world this has turned into a gossip column on Pat's sex life is beyond me. The lady is getting a divorce and that is sad.

ladyvols2006#664696 writes:

I cannot believe what I am reading on a TENNESSEE site. Maybe I am just an old guy, but I grew up wanting to go to tennessee. Even when we had to work on the farm during a Tennessee game, we always had a radio tuned in to the game. I can remember when I was accepted by the university (proud to be able to attend). My 6 years at Tennessee (not stupid, just a B.s. & M.S.) were the best times that I can remember (the college, the people, the games, the friends).

I now live in Louisville (here fans complain about having to pay $2.00 to park and have to walk a 1/4 of a mile to the stadium -you may want to become a U of L fan - it's a better fit for your options) and have to put up with UK and U of L stuff. I try to visit UT sites in order to keep up date with all things TENNESSEE and chat with other UT fans. I am truly amased by what I have read in the past two to three years. Fulmer cannot win any more and the players are not very good, Pearl and the fact that he is Jewish and now Pat and her divorce (and possible sex life). To you supposed TENNESSEE fans that continue (over and over) to bring out topics that have no place on a TENNESSEE site, I am ashamed (Yes, ASHAMED) to have anything to do with you and your comments.

What has Pat every done to you that you have say or write this phooey? This is what Pat has done to you!!!

The first and only women's BB coach at Tennessee!!! (and yes, I was one of the 50-60 people watching the team at the gym)

Loves the University ot Tennesse and the state of Tennessee!!!

Graduates her players!!!

Makes her player's better people!!!

Has the respect of Tennessee players, not just women (remember Peyton getting HER advise about turning pro after his junior season)!!!

Has the respect of ALL NCCA coaches (MEN AND WOMEN - except the idiot at UCONN)!!!

and did I mention;

Hall of Fame!!!

Winnest coach in NCAA history!!!

The most important thing I can and will always say is "I AM PROUD THAT PAT SUMMITT HAS BUILT A YEAR IN AND YEAR OUT CAMPHIONSHIP PROGRAM AT MY UNIVERSITY AND IN MY HOME STATE, I THANK HER FOR RECRUITING AND COACHING GREAT PLAYERS AND IN THE PROCESS MADING THEM BETTER PEOPLE. I CAN HOLD MY HEAD HIGH KNOWING THAT PAT IS REPERSENTING THE STATE OF TENNESSEE AND THE UNIVERSITY OF TENNESSEE".

I am serious when I say that our supposed NEGATIVE fans become U of L fans, you really fit in with those wimps and if you move here from Tennessee you can help to increase the stae's standard IQ rating! Sorry for the last comment, but you really P????d me off.

Then again that would help Tennessee, so do move to Louisville.

abrown#232236 writes:

Be as cool toward Pat as she has earned. No more, no less. She's just a winner, and in a deep way.

Southland writes:

marc_ash would you please go back and see how many times you have contradicted yourself. You seem intent on spreading unfounded rumors and then you try to sound like you are a nice person that means no harm. Spreading rumors is one of the most hurtful things you can do. Please leave the story alone We have all said more than is needed and it's time for this story to go away

fortandrews writes:

OK Enough is Enough. Even the Knoxville news paper didn't give the story all of this phooey. Let's give it to MV - he would have call off the DOGS by now. Pat is a super human being.

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