Terry Morrow: Pat Summitt says new book will be 'pretty open' about her life

Terry Morrow
Hoda Kotb greets Pat Summitt when 'Today' visited the University of Tennessee this week.

Hoda Kotb greets Pat Summitt when "Today" visited the University of Tennessee this week.

Pat Summitt gave me a little insight into her upcoming book, being penned by Washington Post sports writer Sally Jenkins.

Titled "Sum It Up," Summitt said the memoir "will be pretty open," but did not elaborate about what those details will be. Previous reports indicate the book will touch on her diagnosis last year of early-onset dementia, Alzheimer's type.

Perhaps it will also include her numerous miscarriages and divorce from Sevier County banker R.B. Summitt.

She grew up a farmer's daughter in Middle Tennessee and said she held her own with her brothers doing the chores around the spread.

Summitt told me during a chat at the ESPY Awards in Los Angeles this summer that her days on the farm gave her the determination and grit needed to forge through challenges in life.

"Sum It Up," coming through an imprint of Random House, is due out in the spring of 2013.

Undoubtedly it will be a best seller, especially around East Tennessee, where the former head coach of the Lady Vols is an icon. Proof of that status was evident on Monday, when Summitt made a brief cameo appearance on the fourth hour of "Today," with Kathie Lee Gifford and Hoda Kotb.

As soon as Summitt was introduced on the set, the crowd of mostly traditional age college students started chanting "We back Pat!"

How did it make Summitt feel to know she was the biggest star on stage at that moment?

"Oh," she said humbly, "I don't know about that. These women are great ... I watch their show. They tell it like it is."

As for a much-rumored documentary about her life, Summitt said she doesn't think one is in the works currently.

Meanwhile ...

Vols head football coach Derek Dooley took some ribbing from Gifford and Kotb during the "Today" broadcast, live from The Hill area on the UT campus.

In a pre-taped segment, Dooley was asked what he thought about Gifford and Kotb coming to UT for a show. His response was one of those scene stealers of the telecast.

In a deadpan moment, Dooley said, "I'd probably be more excited if (former pro football player)Frank Gifford (Kathie Lee's husband) was coming to campus, not Kathie Lee Gifford."

And then ...

Among the guests that "Today" wasn't able to book for its UT installment was Sevier County songbird Dolly Parton.

"I love Dolly," Gifford told me at a make-up and hair area set up in Ayres Hall. "I've known her for a long time, and she is the greatest person."

Parton was in Los Angeles, where she is working on her own book project, "Dream More," due in November.

The book has been described as being full of "inspirational wisdom" tales, based on stories from her life.

"I know that I've learned some things in my life that are important to me, and I think maybe they might be good ideas to pass along to you," Parton is quoted in a news release about the book.

"Not as advice, but as information that I have found has helped me over the years. Enough to share, and a little to spare."

Terry Morrow may be reached at 865-342-6445 or morrowt@knoxville.com. Follow him on Twitter@Telebuddy for the latest celebrity news.

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Comments » 2

VolzsFan writes:

It will not be "totally open". It would change way to much on the perception front. Should be a good read just the same.

RockyMountainVol_Killed_By_GVX writes:

The following is a copy of an e-mail sent to the GVX administrator:

I think I understand what's happened here, but I'd surely appreciate some confirmation.

I -- and a lot of other contributors -- are disheartened by your willingness to ban certain offensive contributors, only to allow them back onto your website in as little time as it takes to set up a new username. It's the same handful of people over and over and over again.

So I, being the wiseacre that I am, decided to make my own little protest: I suggested removal of every single comment these guys made... NOT because that any particular comment was necessarily offensive, but because they shouldn't even be allowed on a reasonably-run message board. I figured that, sooner or later, SOMEBODY at GVX might choose to address the underlying issue. If/when GVX administrators addressed the issue, I intended to cease and desist.

And, it appears that somebody did address the issue: they deactivated MY account... because, obviously, I am more offensive to GVX administrators than are the posters who routinely get away with all sorts of off-topic personal attacks on players and coaches.

Yeah, I guess I could do the same that the Jeff Flowers of this world do, and just crank out another username. But you know what? I don't intend to do that OTHER than to post a copy of this e-mail so other contributors can see what's happened. There is not a SINGLE COMMENT that I have ever made on your website that was deemed offensive. All I've done is tick off a board administrator because I had the nerve to repeatedly point out how spineless the administration of this site was. I got too annoying to the brass, so I got flushed just like the trash that repeatedly post offensive material.

If that's your idea of a message board that serves the public, you can have it.



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