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From Dan: Jenny Moshak retiring from UT over ‘issues of equality’

Jenny Moshak is leaving the trainer’s room at the University of Tennessee, but not without having a final say.

The associate director of sports medicine at UT, who’s a co-plaintiff in a lawsuit against UT, issued a statement Friday through her lawyer, Keith D. Stewart, saying that she took an early retirement over issues related to the suit.

“Due to the overall atmosphere since I raised issues of equality at the University of Tennessee and given the university’s unwillingness to address the issues of discrimination and retaliation, I cannot continue my association with the university’s athletic department,” Moshak said in the statement.

In W news, the Spare Parts Storm were doing just fine against the Delle Donne-less Sky, and then… oops! The she is!. Gave Jayda time to reconnect: Courtney Vandersloot is thriving with Chicago Sky

At Slam Online: WNBA MVP Rankings: She’s Back – Candace Parker returns from injury in dominant fashion.

In this week’s MVP rankings, Diana Taurasi has taken steps forward due to interim coach Russ Pennell’s more efficient system. Despite back-to-back 30-plus point outings for Angel McCoughtry, the Dream are riding a cold streak. Tamika Catchings, in the past week, nabbed her 900th steal and sneaks up the MVP ladder. And the “Candace Can” mantra still rings true for the Sparks, as their do-it-all forward reigns once again in the rankings.

Check out the latest:

Chris Morgan offers up WNBA Team Names: A Critique and someone else asks: Is Your WNBA Team Leading in… Injuries?

Why does this:

Iyanla Vanzant will try to work her magic on troubled former WNBA star Chamique Holdsclaw in the next episode of her OWN series, “Iyanla: Fix My Life.”

make me (and some others on Rebkell) uncomfortable?

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There have been some concern that, with Kim closing her womensbasketballonline.com site (and it is just that – closed) that the Women’s Basketball Timeline she hosted (and I put together in a fever induced summer of googling) would disappear.

Kim and I have chatted, and she sent over the files. I’ve turned them in to a new page (see here) on the blog.

It was fun reviewing the Timeline (and it’s cool that, because the site is searchable, so is the Timeline), but I shudder to think how many of the links are broken and/or missing. And, of course, there are odd gaps in the contemporary history because neither Kim nor I had the time or brain space to keep it up these last few years. Now? Well, I guess I know what my summer 2012 project is…

I invite any and all of you to peruse the beast. Send me links. Make corrections. Suggest additions. Forward it to your Athletic Directors! On my way back from Kentucky, I ran into the very personable AD of a DIII college — he was on his way to Denver to talk alcohol and drug abuse policy. We got to speaking about what he’s finding on his campus — women team athlete’s dropping from teams, if they’re not playing during games (and occasionally becoming superb solo athletes). I brought up the history of female athletes being pushed away from team sports in to solo sports — using Gertrude, Sonja and Babe as examples, and contrasting it with women’s basketball…No surprise, he had NO idea of the history of women’s basketball, much less the “one step forward, two…maybe three steps backward” process its been simply to offer women the same right to play basketball as men do. Consider this little gem from 1919:

Tennessee: Dr. Mary Douglas Ayres Ewell, graduate of Sophie Newcomb College for Women in 1917, played under Clara Baer. Mary Ayres returned to Knoxville in 1919 and was named coach for the University of Tennessee girls’ basketball team. In March 1920, UT women students, with Ayres’ approval, requested “equal rights and privileges” with male athletes including team travel to other colleges for athletic events, increased funding for the women’s program, and representation on the Athletic Council.

Happy birthday, Title IX.

By the way, I’ve asked Kim if I can host some of her fabulous resources: the women’s basketball library and Media Tips in particular. If there’s anything else you’re going to miss, holler (womenshoopsblog @ gmail.com) and I’ll see what can be done to fill the void.

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Muffet:

“While I’m certainly sad to hear that Pat is stepping down as the head coach at the University of Tennessee, I think today is really a time to celebrate Pat’s amazing accomplishments and everything she has done to help bring the sport of women’s basketball to where it is today. The word ‘legend’ can sometimes be overused in sports, but in Pat’s case, that’s exactly what she is. Pat has set the bar so high for all of us, not only with the success her teams have enjoyed on the court, but the way she has carried herself off the court, with such class, dignity and grace. It’s a standard of excellence that likely will never be matched in our game, and I feel fortunate and honored to have had the opportunity to coach against her, and to learn from her during my career. All of us at Notre Dame wish for her good health and happiness in her new role as head coach emeritus at Tennessee. We know that the Lady Vol program will remain strong and vibrant with Holly Warlick as head coach, and we wish her much success.”

WBCA CEO Beth Bass:

“When you think of women’s basketball, you think of Pat Summitt. She is the first female coach whose name literally has become synonymous with her sport.

“Of course, we all know her record — the thousand victories, the eight national championships, and so on — but we’ll never be able to adequately put into words the contributions Pat has made to women’s basketball and, specifically, to the women’s basketball coaching profession. She is a mentor, role model and inspiration to so many. All coaches of girls’ and women’s basketball have her to thank in large part for the success our game now enjoys.

“Pat is a founding member of the WBCA. She was present in the meeting held during the Olympic Festival in Syracuse, N.Y., in 1981, to discuss the formation of a women’s basketball coaches association. She has been a member and tremendous supporter of the WBCA ever since. We will forever be indebted to her for what she has done through the years for this association.”

Jim Tooley, USA Basketball CEO/Executive Director:

Basketball in general, not just women’s basketball, owes so much to Pat Summitt. She is obviously one of basketball’s all-time greats. She has played a significant part on three different U.S. Olympic Teams, as a player, assistant coach and head coach, and she has taught so many young players about life through basketball. Coach Summitt’s legacy is seen every summer when USA Basketball fields teams for international basketball competitions. From the junior to the senior level, some of her current or former players are almost always listed on USA Basketball rosters. We will miss seeing her pacing the sidelines and wish her nothing but the best as she undertakes her new challenge as head coach emeritus.

Sherri:

Pat is one of those rare individuals whose influence crosses all boundary lines. Literally thousands of coaches in a vast array of sports abide by her tenets, passing them on as gospel to their players. Her name is synonymous with the sport of women’s basketball, and yet I believe it is her leadership style–her way of achieving, if you will, that will be her most dominant legacy.

On a personal level, I feel unbelievably blessed to have had the opportunity to compete against her. I, and an entire generation of women’s basketball coaches, will always be indebted to her for the culture of excellence she helped to create in our sport. It is on the foundation of relevance that her success helped carve that we and others like us have built our programs.

Geno:

Pat’s vision for the game of women’s basketball and her relentless drive pushed the game to a new level and made it possible for the rest of us to accomplish what we did,” Auriemma said in a statement. “In her new role, I’m sure she will continue to make significant impacts on the University of Tennessee and on the game of women’s basketball as a whole. 

“I am thrilled for Holly (Warlick) as this opportunity is well deserved and Pat will be a huge asset to her moving forward.” 

Mechelle: Changes are right decisions – Holly Warlick taking over for Pat Summitt is emotional but wise move

Tennessee can and does sell its eight NCAA titles and 18 NCAA Final Four appearances, its large and passionate fan base, its track record for producing Olympians and pro players. Ultimately, though, most recruiting deals are closed by the head coach, and now the recruits know exactly who that will be: Warlick.

She will have to personally and philosophically adjust to that. She is no longer the first lieutenant; she is the captain. She has to think that way. Her touching deference to Summitt this season was 100 percent genuine, but now she is the boss.

That is a change, even for someone who has prepped for the role as long as Warlick has. She can’t replicate Summitt’s personality or larger-than-life aura. Nobody can. There will never be another Pat Summitt.

But Warlick has her own life story of goals, of hardships — her father died when she was in high school, and she had to grow up quickly — and of dreams. Like Summitt, Warlick is a native of Tennessee, and her roots are sunk just as deeply into the state.

Dan Fleser: Pat Summitt steps down – Holly Warlick named Lady Vols head coach

Mike Sherman, Oklahoman: Rooting for Pat Summitt

The truth is sports editors do have a rooting interest.

Many of us root for the story, and early last month several of us in The Oklahoman sports department we were rooting for Pat Summitt to make one last trip to Oklahoma City.

It was the days leading up to the release of the women’s NCAA Tournament bracket, and some of us around the office were hoping Tennessee would be assigned to the Norman Regional. We wanted one more chance to write about Summitt’s impact on her sport, all of sports and American culture. I’m trying to think of a more important woman in the history of American sports, and I can’t.

Zac Ellis, Sports Illustrated: Summitt made basketball matter at football-crazed Tennessee

Liz Clarke, WaPo: Pat Summitt to step down: legendary Tennessee women’s basketball coach won 1,098 games, 8 NCAA titles

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are confirmed:

The 2011-12 women’s collegiate basketball season will be tipped off in style as the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame teams up with State Farm, Intersport and ESPN to host the 2011 State Farm Tip-Off Classic on November 15. This year’s Tip-Off Classic will feature the University of Tennessee versus the University of Miami in Knoxville, TN (5 p.m., ESPN2).

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some follow-up from the New York Times’ Lynn Zinser: Unfamiliar Path Unfolds at Tennessee

“My first thought was, Pat Summitt is our coach and always will be,” said Tennessee’s athletic director, Joan Cronan, who has worked with Summitt for 28 years. “But I had three things to do. I had to protect Pat, who is the most loved person at the University of Tennessee. I had to protect her legacy. And I had to protect the program she built.”

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Former Science Hill, Lady Vol Star Melissa McCray-Dukes Loses Breast Cancer Battle

The University of Tennessee Lady Vol basketball family learned on Monday, Dec. 27, that Melissa Ann McCray-Dukes had lost her long and hard fought battle with cancer. McCray-Dukes was 43 years old.

Nicknamed “Emma” by her Tennessee teammates, McCray-Dukes played on four consecutive NCAA Final Four teams (1986-87-88-89) and started as a guard on coach Pat Summitt’s first two national championship teams in 1987 and 1989.

“Melissa was one of the most incredible people you could ever meet,” Summitt said. “She fought cancer with the same determination and tenacity she showed on the basketball court. She went into every single day of her life as a winner. Melissa had incredible optimism but she also knew she was in God’s hands at the end of her fight. She has taught me so many life lessons over the last four years and she will be missed.

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Carl Ademac at the Journal Inquirer: Women’s Team USA: Winning helps the bonding process

The teams had scrimmaged at the Mohegan Sun Arena the day after the WNBA All-Star Game two months ago with Australia winning handily.

There would be no repeat of that Friday night.

“It was embarrassing to watch that tape,” Lawson said. “That was a huge motivation for us. Leading up to the world championships, we wanted to send a message about what kind of team we want to be.”

From Jim Fuller at the Middletown Press: Moore teams up with idol

Like many of the decisions in her life, Maya Moore’s selection of a role model was darn near perfect.

Growing up in Georgia, Moore was captivated by the combination of intensity and dignity that Tamika Catchings carried herself with during her remarkable career at the University of Tennessee followed by her impressive body of work with the WNBA’s Indiana Fever and as a mainstay of the U.S. national team for the last eight years.

From Milton at Fanhouse: Geno Auriemma Using Extra Parts to Prepare USA for Worlds

“Right now, it’s preseason football and we’re trying to evaluate who can play and who we think has a chance to fit in once the lights are on for real,” said Auriemma

From John Altavilla at CTNow.com: U.S. National Team Routs Australia 89-56 In Women’s Exhibition

“Two teams playing without all of their players,” U.S. coach Geno Auriemma said. “But of the two teams that played tonight, we executed and did things we wanted to do.”

From Roger Cleaveland at the Republican-American: Short-handed U.S. women ready for two tests

The U.S. national women’s basketball team arrived in Connecticut a little short Thursday. Short on time. Short on players. And short in the post.

Parallel game blogs: Compare and contrast the WHB and Swish AppealFull Court Press. and

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