Thursday, November 08, 2007

What's up in women's hoops

Mechelle Voepel runs down who's who and what's what in college hoops this season, coaching changes mostly. So if you were in a coma last season and just awoke check out her column--smart and witty as usual--to find out who's out and who's in and who went overseas.
The latter refers to former LSU head coach Pokey Chatman who resigned right before her team went into the NCAA tournament due to allegations of improper conduct with a former player. Chatman settled her complaint with LSU for $160,000 which precludes her from further legal action. The settlement though does not seem to contain a gag order but that does not mean anyone is talking. Chatman isn't saying anything about the incident in question including denying it.
So she has been exiled to Russia where she will be coaching. Given the allegations, an overseas job was probably the only thing she could get right now. But will she be back? I want to say yes, but something in me says no--oh yeah, it's that rational, cynical side of me. Chatman was accused of, and has not denied, having a sexual relationship with a player. What school is going to let her coach again? It's already extremely difficult for women who are suspected of being gay to get coaching jobs and most of them are in the closet. Chatman has been outed and then she was ousted (or maybe she was ousted and then outed--hard to figure out the order). This is not to say that what she did was in any way acceptable. But she will pay more dearly for it than male coaches who seem to be able to rebound from allegations of sexual misconduct much more easily.
When I fight off my internal cynic I think that perhaps, just maybe, Chatman could get a job in the WNBA. I mean if Nancy Lieberman can do it, Chatman can. And Chatman, I am sure, would not be so careless as to sleep with a current player ever again (as Lieberman is alleged to have done--and when I use the word allegedly, I don't really mean it). I wonder if the new Atlanta franchise has a coach yet...
Still things won't be the same this season not being able to watch Chatman's dynamic coaching style. I doubt Van Chancellor, despite his successes, will be as entertaining or engender as much excitement.
Voepel's column also reports some good news on diversity in basketball coaching: three women of color have new positions as head coaches this year. Coquese Washington at Penn State, Tia Jackson at University of Washington, and Jolette Law at Illinois.
And Voepel has a nice little dig for former PSU coach Rene Portland who sold much of her Penn State gear at a yard sale before she hightailed it out of PA this past summer. Wonder if any of it ended up on Ebay. It's all tainted goods anyway.

[h/t to JB for sending me the column.]

1 comment:

John Borland said...

You're welcome. Ousted and outed. Excellent writing. I hope Pokey will be back. Here's a little more info: http://www.usatoday.com/sports/basketball/2007-08-17-chatman-russia_N.htm?csp=34