HOOVER, Ala. – After spending the morning at SEC media day, Tennessee women’s basketball coach Pat Summitt spent part of her afternoon back in Knoxville explaining a comment she made here about herself that was misconstrued to reference UT men’s coach Bruce Pearl.
After stating her support for Pearl, whose program has been the subject of an NCAA investigation, Summitt was asked whether it was easy for a coach to make “a mistake in judgment’’ and push “into the gray area’’ of recruiting. She interrupted the train of thought by asking “For me?” and went on to say, “I’ve never compromised at all and I wouldn’t and if I did, they should fire me. I’ve been there too long.”
The comment was passed along and apparently lost its context amid the chatter on the Internet and talk radio. Before going on “Sports Talk” on WNML radio on Thursday afternoon, Summitt reiterated in a follow-up interview with the News Sentinel that she was speaking solely about herself.
“They’re making something out of it that it’s not,’’ she said. “I’m not going away without scoring some punches myself. Bruce Pearl never entered my mind. It’s not fair.”
“I made it very clear, I support Bruce and he supports me. I think people are just looking for stuff. All I care about now is this doesn’t affect Bruce. He’s been through enough.”