After historic loss, Summitt allows no rest for the weary
Nor, apparently, is Summitt particularly accepting of the concept of spring break. The woman has won 1,005 games and eight national titles in her 34 years at Tennessee. This latest news from Rocky Top makes one wonder, What kind of world would it be it all of us were held to her standard? It would be a world in which:
-- Unhinged CNBC stock picker
-- Self-absorbed vulgarian and New York Rangers left winger
Please do not assume, as I mistakenly did, that Summitt sought to punish her players. There was nothing
Did I say angry? I'm sorry, the coach wasn't angry -- was not conducting an hour-long exercise in negative reinforcement in the wake of the worst loss in the worst season in her career. With seven freshmen on her 2008-09 squad, Summitt often spoke of the importance of recognizing any and all "teaching moments."
So that wasn't cold fury we saw etched on her face in television footage from Tuesday's non-punitive session. Rather, that Morgan-Le-Fay mask reflected Summitt's determination to teach her players, as she told Scout.com's
It is on days like Tuesday that one comes to fully comprehend how Summitt has won all those games, and why she isn't finished winning national titles. Yes, she's had her share of
The chapter begins with the author posing a rhetorical question to herself: "Sometimes I ask myself, 'Could I play for me?'"
The real question, following last Tuesday: Would she want to? Following their Monday morning bus ride from Bowling Green, Ky., site of their first-round flameout, the Lady Vols attended a team meeting that night. If any of them expected a low-key, lighthearted, better-luck-next-season kind of hugfest, they were sorely mistaken. Instead, Summitt went around the table, challenging their commitment to the program, asking each player, "Are you in or out?" One by one, Cornelius writes, they rededicated themselves. They learned from their coach -- who, you'll remember, was not ticked off; not in the slightest -- that they'd be practicing the next afternoon.
What is it that
The day after Oklahoma State ran all over Texas Tech in '07, downing the Red Raiders 49-45, newly appointed defensive coordinator
"Sundays aren't that intense, but this got intense real fast," recalled defensive end
As did Summitt, who on the second day of the offseason subjected her subjects to defensive drills for an hour, after which she declared that many of her players still "just don't get it," that they lacked "mental toughness" and "the competitive drive on every play."
She did not require the Lady Vols to report to the court the next day. That's because they had a scheduled workout on the football field with strength coach
While I feel a twinge of sympathy for Summitt's players, it is dwarfed by the pity I feel for whichever team draws Tennessee in next year's first round.