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Pat Summitt initially felt forced out by Tennessee

By Steve Megargee

Associated Press

Published: Wednesday, Oct. 3 2012 6:51 p.m. MDT

Hoda Kotb, left, the co-host of the fourth hour of NBC’s "Today" show, greets Lady Vol coach emeritus Pat Summitt during a broadcast from the University of Tennessee Monday, Oct. 1, 2012, in Knoxville, Tenn. UT won an online contest sponsored by “Today” to bring Kotb and co-host Kathie Lee Gifford to town with their show.

Knoxville News Sentinel, Michael Patrick, Associated Press

Enlarge photo»

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Pat Summitt says in an affidavit that she initially believed she was forced to step down as the Lady Vols basketball coach after the 2011-12 season by Tennessee athletic director Dave Hart.

The affidavit was part of former Lady Vols media director Debby Jennings' lawsuit against the University of Tennessee. In it, Summitt says Hart told her in March she would be replaced after the season.

Summitt says in the affidavit filed Wednesday in a Tennessee federal court that Hart later told her that she misinterpreted his comments from that conversation. Jennings' lawsuit alleges that age and sex discrimination led to Jennings' forced retirement.

University spokesperson Margie Nichols said last week it's "absolutely not true" that Summitt was forced to step down. Summitt is currently Tennessee's head coach emeritus.

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