Joan Cronan offers reasons for series' end

Lady Vols coach Pat Summitt won't say why she canceled the popular series against national power Connecticut. Additionally, Summitt said she was surprised with the timing of the abrupt retirement of former Lady Vols All-American Chamique Holdsclaw from the WNBA's Los Angeles Sparks five games into the season.

Summitt says she's no coward

But the seven-time national champion didn't think a Connecticut columnist's description of her as a ``coward'' for not giving a reason was justified.

``You can call me a lot of things but I don't think coward is a fit,'' Summitt said.

While Summitt refused comment, women's athletic director Joan Cronan gave three reasons for the decision. One, she felt relations between the two schools wasn't good. Secondly, she felt too many folks focused on just the UT-UConn game, not paying enough attention to UT non-conference games against the likes of Stanford, Texas, Duke and Rutgers.

I then asked Cronan if the reason for the decision revolved around UConn's recruitment of hot-shot prospect Maya Moore, who signed with the Huskies over UT.

``That was a part of it,'' Cronan said.

While UT officials aren't saying it, I'm convinced they think this move will hurt UConn more than UT.

Summitt surprised by Holdsclaw retirement

``I thought she might retire after last season,'' Summitt said. ``But she played overseas and came back.''

Summitt said there is less pressure and more money playing overseas but she doesn't think Holdsclaw will wind up in Europe after leaving the WNBA.

Asked if Holdsclaw no longer likes basketball, Summitt said: ``She's probably a little burned out. She's played for a long time. … Chamique at one time was passionate but she's reached a point where she's ready to walk away from the game.''

Summitt said she's always been told you'll know when it's time to quit.

``I hope I do,'' she said. ``I've seen coaches coach until they're asked to be retired. I hope I'm not one of those.''

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