|03-09-2007, 01:17 AM||#1|
Join Date: Mar 2005
ESPN.com news services
BATON ROUGE, La. -- Pokey Chatman resigned as the head women's basketball coach at Louisiana State University on Wednesday after the university became aware of an alleged inappropriate sexual relationship between Chatman and a former player on Chatman's team, sources told ESPN.com. The university, the sources said, learned of the relationship from an employee within the basketball program.
ESPN.com's attempts to reach the employee by telephone and e-mail on Thursday night were unsuccessful.
Chatman, who initially announced plans to resign after the postseason, now says she will not coach the Lady Tigers in the NCAA tournament. In a statement released Thursday afternoon, Chatman said: "My resignation yesterday has prompted speculation and rumors that far exceeded my expectations and it is clear that my presence would be a great distraction during the NCAA Tournament."
LSU athletic director Skip Bertman said assistant coach Bob Starkey will act as the head coach during the tournament. He told the New Orleans Times Picayune, which first reported the alleged inappropriate conduct with one or more players on its Web site, that no formal inquiry into Chatman's conduct had been opened by the university. When asked by the paper if some sort of informal investigation had taken place, he said, "that might have happened."
"I respect and appreciate Pokey's decision to step away from the program now in the best interests of the team," Bertman said.
Chatman is 90-14 as LSU's head coach. Before that, she was 15-5 as acting head coach during the latter stages of the 2003-04 season, when longtime coach Sue Gunter left the team because of lung disease. That included a trip to the Final Four in New Orleans, where the Lady Tigers fell in the semifinals to Tennessee.
Chatman, a Louisiana native, has been at LSU as both a player and coach for nearly 18 years.
Playing guard, she was one of LSU's career assist and steals leaders. After her playing career ended in 1991, she spent one season as a student assistant coach and then 12 seasons as associate coach under Gunter.
LSU won SEC regular-season titles in her first two seasons as a head coach and made it to the Final Four both years.
In 2005, Chatman received a four-year contract extension that pays her close to $400,000 a year plus postseason bonuses ranging from $15,000 for making the NCAA Tournament to $70,000 for winning a national title. The highest-paid coaches in women's college basketball, Pat Summitt of Tennessee and Geno Auriemma of Connecticut, both earn more than $1 million per year.
Information from the Associated Press was used in this report
Puts the term of a "Players Coach" in another meaning.
|03-09-2007, 02:12 AM||#2|
Ring of Famer
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Somewhere in Jersey
Tough situation for Pokey, I've met her while covering SEC Basketball Media Days. A good coach and nice person.
I wish her well after this fallout.