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Pat's Announcement

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Wbbfan1

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When I first heard the announcement, my initial reaction was "WOW, that took a lot of guts".

Shortly thereafter my analyst hat came out and I had to ask, why was the announcement made and what impact would it have?

Why the announcement was made?

Is it as Pat said, she wanted to be transparent? I dislike that word and transparency, there's usually something hidden that doesn't see the light of day. I'm not sure, but I suspect it was to get out in front of the "Story" and have some impact on how the story is written and minimize the immediate impact on the basketball program.

I've read most of the articles and listened/watched the comments on the announcement and some have said they noticed a change in Pat's health over the last couple of years. A few implied they noticed that Pat wasn't as involved in the program in comparison to previous years. Even on the BY it was written last year that Pat doesn't look well and wondered what was wrong. Writers, announcers, coaches, fans and others were beginning to ask the question, What's happening or what is going on with Pat Summitt?

From what Pat and others have said, Pat won't be as heavily involved with the program and she will delegate more responsibilities to her coaches and others. This would have been quickly noticed when preseason workouts began and definitely during the season. The media in Tenn has favorable relationships with the Lady Vol program, but if there was a significant drop off of Pat's day to day involvement with the program, the story would be written by someone. It may not have been written by the beat writers that cover the Lady Vols, but it would come out. By the way, I also think the UConn beat writers don't report everything they know about Geno, coaches and the players. There are things that go on with the personal lives that reporters decide fans don't need to know that and I applaud them for their discretion. I'm also sure that there are non personal stories that could be written and the writers are asked by UConn not to report it, and the requests are honored. Never mind the stories that could be written that can't be corroborated by multiple sources.

So was it smart to make the announcement. IMHO definitely, Most coaches, media fans are showing empathy and some sympathy for Pat. Although she doesn't want the latter. The announcement shows Pat as courageous, a fighter and extreme loyalty to her "Program". There has been no immediate negative impact on the Lady Vol program and possibly a positive impact for the program. I also think the WBB community will get behind Pat if she decides to become a spokesperson for Alzheimer's like they have with the Kay Yow foundation for Cancer. We might in future years be seeing more "Orange" during games, like we do with "Pink".

To be Continued.
 

Wbbfan1

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Impact on the Lady Vol Program:

First I think it would have been disastrous if Pat had decided to retire right before the start of the season. Players, fans and the media wouldn't of understood. I'm sure the current players and coaches are now going into the season with additional motivation, let's do it for our coach as it could be her last year. Let's give Pat another championship. We can fight just as hard as she is and can overcome any obstacle placed before us.

Long Term Impact: I'm not sure, but IMHO it can't be positive unless it becomes a non-story. By that I means Pat over the next three or four years, shows no diminished capacity and continues to be the "Primary Face" of the Lady Vol program. I would think in three or four years, Pat will be ready to retire with 1100 plus victories and 9 or 10 Championships. IMHO she'll retire when she reaches 10 Championships. NO inside information just my personal opinion. 10 is a nice round number.

Can Pat be a Joe Paterno and continue to be the head coach or figurehead of the program, beyond three or four years. I'm not sure Pat would want to do that, but I don't think so. The Head Coach in Basketball has too much day to day contact with the players while in football and other sports, the assistant coaches have most of the contact. The Head Coach is the primary closer in recruitment while in other sports its the assistant coaches that the players deal with on a day to day basis. I'm not saying the Head Coach is not important in football, as they are, but the assistant coaches are co-closers with the Head Coach. Not so in basketball.

I suspect in the next year or two, Tenn will announce the hiring of a new assistant coach with the intent that this person will be the new head coach. This will enable a smooth transition when Pat does decide to retire. Again, no inside information, I don't think it will be one of her current assistant coaches unless its Holly Warlick. Mickey DeMoss was not successful at Kentucky and hasn't proven she can be a dynamic head coach. Holly could get the job, but I would think Tenn would go for a higher profile coach. But who knows, Pat may have already identified her replacement and could it possibly be her son Tyler if he is interested in the job. Let's face it, he's had plenty of on the job training his whole life and is/was a walk-on with the men's program. He's been around basketball his whole life and who better to continue the legacy of Pat Summitt. Surrounded by the right assistant coaches and with the talent at Tenn, he would have immediate success and be with the program for 30-40 years like Pat has. I'm sure the plans were for Tyler to get experience either at Tenn or at another program for a few years but current circumstances may prevent that. So if he's interested, I wouldn't be surprised to see Tyler be Pat's replacement when she decides to retire. Of course this is idle speculation on my part.

In summary, my personal opinion a courageous announcement that shows Pat as a figher and loyalty to the Lady Vols and it minimized the impact if the story came out before Pat had announced it. Also provides Tenn the opportunity to identify Pat's eventual replacement ahead of time, without any negative impact.
 

RockyMTblue2

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I agree. I don't think you have to look for reasons beyond or behind the announcement. Late last year I was struck by how Pat Summitt was an interested bystander in many time out huddles as others took the lead. First time I had noticed that. Is there a connection, kind of think so.
 

rbny1

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I take the announcement at face value: Pat had the courage to go public with her condition, and I give her all the credit in the world for doing so. Hopefully her announcement will help others who have early stage Alzheimer's but have been afraid to recognize it or seek medical help.

I agree with others who think her condition helps explain her sometimes odd behavior the past year. I have no idea what the future holds for her or for Tennessee women's basketball, but I wish her nothing but the best.
 

UConnCat

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A couple of things. Summitt and the University of Tenn will likely approach this week by week, if not day by day. We're talking about a public figure who will be functioning in the public eye with a diagnosis of early onset dementia. Add to that the fact that most dementia patients, including those with early onset, are typically advised to avoid stress. Both Summitt and the university will be operating in uncharted territory.

As for Summitt's successor, her son Tyler is about to enter his junior year of college. His coaching experience, if he has any at all, probably consists of coaching a youth team of 12-year-olds. Although he may want to follow in his mother's footsteps and coach college basketball some day, there is no way the Univ of Tenn will be handing over the reins to its women's basketball team to Tyler Summitt when his mother retires.
 

Icebear

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Probably the last two or three years.

I take the announcement at face value: Pat had the courage to go public with her condition, and I give her all the credit in the world for doing so. Hopefully her announcement will help others who have early stage Alzheimer's but have been afraid to recognize it or seek medical help.

I agree with others who think her condition helps explain her sometimes odd behavior the past year. I have no idea what the future holds for her or for Tennessee women's basketball, but I wish her nothing but the best.
 
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