FanDuel - WFBC

August 24, 2011

Tennessee coach Pat Summitt diagnosed with dementia: Pat Summitt struggled for several months with how to tell the women's basketball players at Tennessee, recruits and fans that she was having memory loss problems.

Finally, her son Tyler helped convince her to open up.

posted by BornIcon to basketball at 08:31 AM - 8 comments

Wow! I hope she is able to continue coaching for awhile...

posted by yzelda4045 at 09:17 AM on August 24

Without her, women's hoops would probably still be at square one. There are still a lot of dissers and haters of ladies' b'ball out there. For those wishing to marginalize the sport, thankfully there has been someone with Coach Summit's personal power and presence to stand in their path and enforce the sense of stature that the game deserves. And to compel wider interest in it.

I was never captivated by the spiteful Summit-Auriemma axis on which the Div. 1 collegiate game has rotated, so I was glad to note yesterday that Coach Auriemma came out and made what seemed to be a genuinely empathetic and supportive statement on Summit's behalf. No more time or room for nuclear bad blood at this point.

UT needs some good news right about now. It wasn't that long ago that they had things rolling along pretty well in Knoxville as a sports community. Almost to an enviable degree. Then the Kiffin and Pearl episodes came along and now this terrible news. Looks like Coach Summit has a good staff and hopefully they will continue to have success at a high level.

posted by beaverboard at 09:41 AM on August 24

Such a scary story. I think she is very brave to share her condition with every one. I hope the opposing fans behave with class about it.

posted by bperk at 03:27 PM on August 24

I hope the opposing fans behave with class about it.

Yikes, didn't even think of that. Perhaps in womens' basketball they will. But colleges are full of guys who are the funniest person ever, so I'm sure there will be some rudeness. Speaking as someone who probably would have been that kind of ass in college.

posted by yerfatma at 03:38 PM on August 24

I can't speak for all UConn fans, but in the circle of fans I hang around with, we have great respect (and more than a little fear and awe) for Coach Summit. Its not like the Red Sox/Yankees rivalry where we say "I hate that other team." Its more like "Oh cool/oh no UConn is playing them now."

She's a brilliant coach, a class act and is regarded (at least among my group, again) as being an excellent human being. I imagine that anyone who loves Women's Basketball sees this as painful and tragic. I'm going to be optimistic an say that if any dumb college kids try to make hay out of this situation, they'll be shamed into shutting up by their fellow fans.

Anyhow, she's one again confirmed what a brave, classy person she is by opening up about this. I hope she's able to continue coaching for a long time to come and know that as long as Coach Summit is coaching Tennessee, I'll always bite my nails when UConn goes up against them.

Wishing her improved health and luck.

posted by Joey Michaels at 03:57 PM on August 24

I realize that this is an utterly stupid thing to say, but I just don't picture her as someone that this could happen to.

Without her, women's hoops would probably still be at square one. There are still a lot of dissers and haters of ladies' b'ball out there. For those wishing to marginalize the sport, thankfully there has been someone with Coach Summit's personal power and presence to stand in their path and enforce the sense of stature that the game deserves. And to compel wider interest in it.

Women's hoops, and women's sports in general. She has done so much.

Perhaps in womens' basketball they will. But colleges are full of guys who are the funniest person ever, so I'm sure there will be some rudeness.

I can't offhand think of another public figure who has actually announced that they have Alzheimer's, certainly not while continuing in public life. All the ones that I can think of sort of quietly retire from public life, and then someone else makes a statement about their condition, often posthumously. This is going to be a new experience.

posted by lil_brown_bat at 08:41 AM on August 25

I realize that this is an utterly stupid thing to say, but I just don't picture her as someone that this could happen to.

Not stupid to me, I know what you mean. It's like Greek Tragedy to have a strong figure be attacked by a stronger disease. It feels all that's left is plaudits.

posted by yerfatma at 10:14 AM on August 25

As a UF grad, I absolutely hate UT. Hate 'em with the white-hot intensity of a thousand suns. That being said, I cannot adequately voice my heartfelt support and immense respect for Pat Summitt. I've always admired her for her professionalism and the success she's achieved, while not really paying much attention to the kind of human being she is. I am more impressed with Coach Summit than ever, and wish her and her family the best as they deal with this heartbreaking situation.

posted by The_Black_Hand at 10:37 PM on August 25

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