Although women's basketball season ended two weeks ago, it was open season on Pat Summitt and Tennessee Tuesday.
Connecticut women's coach Geno Auriemma took aim and fired.
At a press conference in Storrs, Conn., to wrap up the Huskies' season, Auriemma unleashed some lingering resentment toward the Lady Vols basketball coach over Tennessee's decision last spring to end the regular-season series between the two schools.
The spark that reignited Auriemma was a question about Summitt always saying, "Geno knows" when asked why UT ended the series.
"Pat knows,'' he said. "I don't have to say anything. Pat knows. She knows why we're not playing. There's nothing for me to say. I'm not the one that made the decision not to play. So she should just tell you why instead of saying, 'Geno knows.' I do know. I already told you. She accused us of cheating at recruiting. She doesn't have the courage to say it publicly. So yeah, Geno does know. And I've said it."
ESPN reported last month that Tennessee raised a complaint with the SEC office over an ESPN private tour the Huskies basketball office helped arrange in October 2005 for then-top recruit Maya Moore and her mother, Kathryn. Two sources said the tour amounted to a secondary rules violation.
" 'Geno knows,' " Auriemma said, "There's a lot of things I know about a lot of people. That doesn't mean I cancel the series. This is the same person who said if the Duke fans didn't treat her players right, she was going to cancel that series."
The reference was to Summitt threatening to end UT's series with Duke if the "Cameron Crazies" student section persisted this season with waving plastic bags and chanting "Wal-Mart" at Lady Vol Alexis Hornbuckle in reference to her being arrested as a high school senior on a misdemeanor shoplifting charge at a Wal-Mart in West Virginia. The chants continued when the two teams played at Cameron Indoor Stadium on Jan. 28. The series continues as well.
"So if people don't stop misbehaving, they're only going to play regular-season scheduled conference games,'' Auriemma said. "Unless that starts to bug them. So the bottom line is it's not going to change. Don't get me wrong. It's not going to change."
Auriemma said the regular-season series between Tennessee and Connecticut will not be revived.
"It would have to be eight games here, one in Nashville and one in Memphis; that would be my proposal to them,'' he said, smiling. "That's the only way I would do it."
When asked about the possibility of playing UT at the Maggie Dixon Classic in New York City, Auriemma said, "If you're not going to play here or there, you're not going to play them at Madison Square Garden in a charity event that's supposed to help a good cause. How could they be involved with that? That would be something that's good for the game."
While his comments indicate otherwise, Auriemma said the situation "doesn't irk me."
"With some people that's just their style,'' he said. "They're passive-aggressive. They always want to have somebody to blame for what's going on."
When reached for comment Tuesday night, Summitt said "It's absolutely not worth a comment."