Knoxville (UT Release) University of Tennessee head coach Pat Summitt, whose Lady Volunteer basketball team captured the 2007 NCAA Championship on April 3 in Cleveland, Ohio, released a statement this afternoon concerning the disparaging comments regarding Rutgers University women’s basketball team.
“The inappropriate comments directed toward the student-athletes of Rutgers University were very disappointing,” said Summitt. “Their head coach, C. Vivian Stringer, and I have been friends for a number of years, and I have tremendous respect for her and the great young women in her program. These student-athletes deserve a lot of credit for what they have accomplished, and it saddens me that they were treated with such disrespect.
“Never should there be a time when student-athletes are in a position to receive this kind of verbal abuse. I applaud Rutgers University, Coach Stringer and the Scarlet Knight student-athletes and the exemplary way they conducted themselves in their national press conference today. The University of Tennessee women’s basketball program commends Rutgers’ handling of this situation. It is emblematic of the outstanding caliber of student-athletes and coaches in women’s collegiate basketball.”
Summitt’s 2007 NCAA title was the seventh in her 33-year career at Tennessee. She also captured NCAA titles in 1987, 1989, 1991, 1996, 1997 and 1998.