The LSU community was stunned Wednesday afternoon when third year Lady Tigers coach Pokey Chatman abruptly resigned as the head coach of the LSU program.
Details are sketchy as of this hour as of Chatman's resignation. But fans everywhere can only ask why.
Chatman notified the university today of her intentions.
"I have notified the University today that I will step down as Head Coach of the Women's Basketball program in order to allow me to pursue other career opportunities," Chatman said in a prepared statement.
"I will continue to serve as head coach until LSU's participation in the NCAA tournament is concluded. That will allow this team to successfully enter and compete in the upcoming NCAA tournament. I will continue on contract until April 30, 2007."
"I appreciate the opportunities afforded me at LSU and the cooperation of the University in allowing me to pursue other career opportunities."
Other than that, Chatman left it as is and refused to comment any further about the reasons for her resignation or her future.
"To eliminate any further distraction from our preparation for and participation in the NCAA tournament, I will have no further comment and answer no questions on this subject," she said. "I hope you will honor that position."
LSU athletic director Skip Bertman was vague in his comments other than to thank Chatman for her service to the university and wished her well in future endeavors.
"We respect the decision that Pokey
Chatman has made regarding her future career opportunities," Bertman said. "On
behalf of LSU, I thank her for her athletic accomplishments as a player and as a
coach, and for the community service work she has performed for
With the NCAA Tournament looming for the Lady Tigers, Bertman too declined to further discuss the situation.
"In the best interests of the LSU women's basketball team as they prepare for post-season competition, I will make no further comment on Coach Chatman's decision," Bertman concluded.
So that is that.
Chatman has resigned the post she was groomed for – the job she was destined for. Well before Sue Gunter was forced to step down from the head coaching position at LSU, most everyone knew the job was Chatman's. When Gunter's health failed, it was no surprise that Chatman was heir apparent to the position.
So three Final Fours later, two SEC titles and a sparkling 91-13 record as head coach – in just two and a half seasons – Chatman resigns? Many people are scratching their heads.
Chatman, making almost half a million dollars a year as the coach of the Lady Tigers, with a successful and talented team and an ultra popular reputation in the Capital cit, now resigns?
The only question can be – why?
The rumors are out there – and they are rampant.
The next speculated scenario is
that she committed some
Then there is the question could Chatman have possibly been found acting in appropriately with a player or someone also close to the program?
At this time, no one knows for sure. It will surely all come out in the wash on down the line.
At the present time, however, LSU is headed to the Big Dance, most likely as a No. 2 seed in the NCAA Tournament. Chatman will be its coach, but everyone will be left scratching their heads.
In the meantime, with Chatman on
her way out, folks have to begin thinking about the future. The two obvious
possible replacements would be Baylor head coach Kim Mulkey and Texas Tech's Kristy
Curry. Both are natives of
While naming a successor seems on down the road right now, LSU fans can only sit and wait in shock as the future of Lady Tigers' basketball unfolds before us.
Matt Deville is the editor of Tiger Rag. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.