Friday, March 09, 2007

Pokey Chatman

I don't usually do sports. I also haven't had much to write about lately but, the shocking resignation of LSU women’s basketball coach Pokey Chatman deserves comment.

Chatman, 37, an Ama native and graduate of Hahnville High School, will continue to draw a check on her $400,000 annual salary until April 30, LSU officials confirmed.
“My resignation yesterday has prompted speculation and rumors that far exceeded my expectations and it is clear that my presence would be a great distraction during the NCAA Tournament,” the athletic department’s Web site quoted Chatman as saying. “I believe it is in the best interests of the team that I step away from my coaching duties immediately. I want the players and staff to have the best chance to maximize the opportunities we’ve earned. I have every confidence in the young ladies and the remaining coaches that they will have success in the NCAA Tournament.”
And this...
Chatman earned a reputation as a charismatic and blunt-spoken coach who never shied from a question and handled the outside pressures of the high-profile job with aplomb. Those qualities also helped make her one of the more respected recruiters in the land, and it was her skills that were widely credited with bringing Seimone Augustus, the consensus player of the year in 2005 and 2006, and current junior and unanimous All-SEC center Sylvia Fowles to LSU’s campus.
I am also a graduate of Hahnville High School, albeit some years before Pokey. She wasn't even born when I graduated.

I'm sorry I haven't met her yet. I always admired her articulate, charismatic personality.

Somehow I think she'll land somewhere better.


Wick R. Chambers said...

Ms. Chatman is now eligible to announce her candidacy for President of the United States. Perhaps she would consider running on a ticket with Newt Gingrich. I would suggest Mr. Gingrich as the V.P. and Ms. Chatman as POTUS.

Or, she could team up with Rudy Guliani.

Compared to Messrs Guliani and Gingrich, Ms. Chatman is a better role model in many respects, although there is a bright line that should separate students from teachers in terms of sexual relationships.

Evorgleb said...

Yeh we recently covered Pokey's story over at Highbrid Nation and the story's writer seemed a bit sad to find out she was a lesbian. Guess he had a crush, lol. I'm actually surprised that there haven't been more stories like her's in the news.

Lisa said...

I wonder, why does this have to be about her sexual orientation?

Fact 1 - She resigned after Ms. Berry enlightened the school of possible inappropriate actions.

Fact 2 - No official investigation was conducted; therefore, no one except Pokey and the Person involved knows the actual truth. Ms. Berry knows only what she was confided with.

Fact 3 - The Person involved has not spoken out with their side of the story.

Fact 4 - If the person was no longer a player and was no longer affiliated with LSU when the "inappropriate" activity took place, then it is really no one's business and we really didn't need to know. And if the "inappropriate" activity took place while the person was still a player and still a student at LSU, then disiciplinary action would have been called for.

The stark reality: both men and women coaches have been known to have lapses of judgement. Bobby Knight is just one example. We should not reflect so much on Pokey's sexual preference, instead, we should lament the fact that she had a lapse of judgement that has now released her from the very place that she drew her strength from. Louisiana has lost one of their own and LSU will never be the same without her.

Yes, there will be other coaches, but none will feel for the school quite the way she did. To be a player and to be groomed by Sue Gunter should have solidified her place in the LSU tradition.

She will be missed deeply by LSU. Hopefully, she can overcome this setback and become a leading coach elsewhere in the NCAA and once again show the naysayers and evilwishers that she is a force to be reckoned with. She has a basketball mind and deserves a second chance. Hopefully she will have learned the valor of discretion along the way.