Auriemma insults Summitt

UConn must win two games and Tennessee must win one for the women's basketball giants to meet in the Final Four title game, but Huskies coach Geno Auriemma is already firing some salvos at his Lady Vol counterpart.

A sports column written by Jeff Jacobs in Monday's Hartford Courant quotes Auriemma saying some very unflattering things about UT coach Pat Summitt's relationship with Villanova coach Harry Perretta. Oddly enough, Summitt's team routed Perretta's 73-49 Monday night to earn a bid to the Final Four.

Intrigued by Perretta's motion offense, Summitt sought out the Villanova coach last offseason to swap ideas. Ever since, they have talked regularly by phone. As a gesture of good will, UT's coach gave Perretta some neckties and recently hosted his team for a cookout at the Summitt home in Blount County.

Auriemma smelled a rat. He figures Perretta and Summitt are conspiring to try and deny UConn another national title.

According to Jacobs' column, Auriemma suggested that Perretta and Summitt are ''two lovebirds ... sharing information.'' Auriemma also is quoted posing a rhetorical question which insults the relationship between Perretta and Summitt, both of whom are married.

''Do you see Roy Williams and Gene Keady in the hot tub together going, 'Yo, what do you think, man?' ''

Auriemma is also quoted as saying: ''If it was all on the up and up, he (Perretta) wouldn't call me every week to swear to me, 'I don't tell her anything that you and I talk about. Honest.' ''

The UConn coach then took a serious pot shot at Perretta, who supposedly is a friend of his.

''Did it ever occur to anybody that Harry has no friends and that's why he talks to Pat all the time? Nobody in Philadelphia will talk to him. All of his coaching friends have deserted him now that he has hooked up with the Evil Empire (UT)."

Auriemma also referred to Perretta as ''a two-face.''

At one point in his column, Jacobs mused: ''You sound jealous, Geno.''

Asked for her take on the article, Summitt replied:

''First of all, I think I got real defensive for Harry because I thought some things were out of line. Harry's certainly not two-faced. He's genuine. I was bothered for him.

''When I finished reading the article, a couple of things came to mind. One is, while I didn't agree with a lot of it, I did agree that obviously he (Auriemma) is jealous. But he could've put maybe 'paranoid' in there.

''And I think you learn more about Geno -- and what Geno's all about -- than you really learn about what Pat and Harry's relationship is all about.

''Other than that, it's nothing worth thinking about or dwelling on.''


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