After Tyler Summitt was fired as head coach of the Louisiana Tech women’s basketball team for an affair that he had with a player, the anger and outrage in the media was epic. Looking back though, they sure didn’t act that way when he got hired. With rumors of a possible pregnancy also looming, there is much pain to go around.
When Summitt was hired by Athletic Director Tommy McClelland, he called the hire a home run. The media came to Ruston in droves wanting to know more about the golden child of icon Pat Summitt. Many praised his maturity, drive and character. Those same people are now shredding him to bits.
I remember a few nasty comments directed at me when Tyler was hired. I posted on social media one statement; LOL what a joke.
Mechelle Voepel of ESPN W has been very outspoken about the present situation; and rightfully so; but she sure wasn’t that outraged when he was originally hired. Here is an interview with her and west coast writer Michelle Smith when Tyler Summitt was hired.
(Here is another article announcing the rebirth of LTU basketball under Tyler Summitt. This is from last year. ESPN W’s Lynn Olszowy wrote it in 12/2014)
When Tyler Was Hired:
Let’s be real; the baby boomer’s love to spoil their kids. With some parents it’s almost a competition. But in reality it’s created a very self-absorbed generation who is used to their parents paving the way.
Tyler was hired because his last name was Summitt, but when he was hired, only a handful of reporters were outraged. Name another 23 year old on the planet that is going to get a head basketball coaching job at a major college university. Gordon Ramsey will become a vegetarian before that happens again. Most reporters said all the politically correct things that they could.
It reminds me of the great speech that actor Ralph Fiennes gave in the movie “Quiz Show”. Even though it was not part of the actual statement from Charles Van Doren who was implicated in the scandal, it is a telling sign of what our society at times has become.
“I’ve been acting a role, maybe all my life, of thinking that I’ve done more, accomplished more, and produced more than I have. I have had all the breaks. I have stood on the shoulders of life, and I’ve never gotten down into the dirt to build, to erect a foundation of my own. I have flown too high on borrowed wings. Everything came too easy.”
Ralph Fiennes playing Charles Van Doren in “Quiz Show”
A Slap in the Face for Those That Deserve Jobs:
When Tyler was hired I literally was in shock. What a slap in the face it was to all of the assistant coaches who wait years for their big break. I’m sure many around the country shook their heads when Tyler Summitt waltzed into this job.
Below is the resume of ex associate head coach for Tennessee’s women’s basketball Kyra Elzy. After 20 years of being in the college game she has never even been offered a head coaching spot. Now she is finally being rumored to possibly be hired as head coach of UCF. She’s been in the game almost as long as Tyler has been alive.
Tennessee Lady Vols
- Associate Head Coach (2015-Present)
- Assistant Coach (2012-15)
- Associate Head Coach (2010-12)
- Assistant Coach (2008-10)
- Assistant Coach (2004-08)
- Assistant Coach (2002-04)
- Administrative Assistant (2001-02)
Collegiate Playing Experience
- Tennessee (1996-2001)
- 1997 & 1998 NCAA Champs
- 1998, 1999, 2000 & 2001 SEC Champs
- 1998, 1999 & 2000 SEC Tourney Champs
Elzy also has been lauded for her recruiting skills which are huge at the college level. She’s helped keep Tennessee’s program afloat after Pat Summitt retired. How in the world can she not get a job but 23 year old Tyler can be the head coach of the Lady Techsters? Sheer madness. I watched about 5 interviews back when he was hired and when they started bringing up all the notes he took and how he followed his mom, I looked as confused as Jessica Simpson at a spelling bee. Who were they kidding?
Our Weirdness Towards Cheating:
Cheating among college basketball coaches is not new. LSU head coach Pokey Chatman had a bizarre situation when one of her ex players; and present assistants; threw her under the bus and said they were in a relationship. Supposedly even after she did that, they were still close. The details were never really discussed. Louisville head basketball coach Rick Pitino had sex in a restaurant after hours and then paid for the woman to have an abortion so his wife wouldn’t find out. She then tried to blackmail him into giving her millions. Newly retired Wisconsin Men’s coach Bo Ryan’s supposed mistress is on the attack. He mysteriously resigned. That’s just off the top of my head. I’m sure there are more stories. Heck, here in California our Governor (yes we can be dumb) had a baby from one of his hired help and his wife Maria Shriver within a month of each other.
Of course we give ALL of those people a pass; but a dumb 25 year old who is in over his head is the devil. Give me a break.
I see a lot of self-righteous grandstanding out there in the media about this story, but let’s be real. Cheating is now a part of many peoples lifestyle. There are sites now for married people that want to cheat anonymously with millions of people on it. Celeb’s & athletes cheat all the time but hey they are famous so it’s all good to some. Over half of American married people have cheated. We are lauding a great NBA basketball player right now who is retiring and his sexual escapades are of legend. Glass houses.
Many US presidents had someone on the side, and only God knows about the Senate and the House. It’s as wrong as could be but we’ve created this mess. Having morals is uncool to some, especially the younger you are. If you want a hit tv show nowadays you need 3 things; Sexy people, sex, and violence. The Waltons’ isn’t playing anymore. In fact the worse a character is the more we like them. From Breaking Bad to Tony Soprano; we eat it up like it’s got the antidote.
The Deeper Pain:
Forget about sports for a minute. Again, there have been rumors that the girl Tyler had an affair with is pregnant. I’m not going to say her name or get into the details but I feel beyond sad for Tylers wife. To realize that the whole world knows about your husband cheating is pretty rough. Add the fact that they may financially and emotionally now have to take care of a kid that he may have fathered because he cheated, and this is a bad dream for this girl. The immature comments of one of the girls on the team who was first suspected to be the person he cheated with; along with players parents getting more & more into the drama while talking to the media; leads to even more pain. And don’t get me started on all the fools that have unprotected sex. If that was the case for Tyler and this girl, then you can’t get any dumber.
I feel bad for Tennessee fans. They love Pat Summitt like UCLA loves John Wooden. Tyler was the golden boy and fans already had hopes that he would someday coach the Lady Volunteers. I also feel bad for Louisiana Tech fans. They’ve had some lean years and this will set them back again emotionally. The pain of this disgrace happening to a once proud program has hurt a lot of people. Recruit signings have been put on hold.
I don’t feel bad for the administration and AD Tommy McClelland of Louisiana Tech though. What a stupid hire. If I was in charge heads would straight up roll. LTU needs to clean house and start anew in my opinion.
And of course we all ache for Pat Summitt. Inflicted at a relatively young age with an insidious condition that many are saying is hard to watch progress. The pain that she must feel after she spent so many years creating a program based on toughness, discipline, and character is hard to think about. She deserved better than this. I’m sure Tyler feels terrible for the pain his selfish act is causing to the one person that always put light into his eyes.
My Hopes for Tyler:
If I was Tyler’s friend I would say that your resignation was weak. I’d do another pressor or even a Youtube video turning off the comments section; and tell him to be much more contrite. I’d also tell him to go back to the drawing board. I would take a year off and then go to a Division 2 or 3 school and start over. I would make accountability my goal. I also would get out of the woman’s game and coach men. In reality it’s going to be awful hard for him to ever get this opportunity again but it will be a chance for him to get his life back together. Financially he’s set for life. He was the sole heir and Pat chose the option for her pension that gives Tyler 14,000 a month for the rest of his life. He also got her cars and her house that was put up for sale.
He screwed up big time. If an ordinary person cheats it’s bad enough. If a son of an icon cheats the pitch forks and torches will follow and it’s out in the open for all to see. Like most sons he adores his mom, and now he’s brought a shame that has stained their name. My hopes are that he humbly takes time to take responsibility and mature in a way he hasn’t yet. He needs to man up and fix this. And maybe someday; after he has paid his dues; he will stand on his own two feet and no longer fly on borrowed wings.