SportsProf

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Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Curious About Pat Summitt Ad on ESPN?

I am.

Yes, ESPN has these cute commercials featuring star athletes and coaches. They've run them for years, and some are better than others.

I have no objection to the Summitt ad, but I'm curious as to the timing. You'll recall that UConn's women's basketball hoops team came under scrutiny earlier this year regarding the recruitment of this year's sensation Maya Moore. Why? Because the UConn women's hoops front office arranged for Moore to get a private tour of ESPN.

That was a no-no according to the NCAA, because ESPN doesn't offer such tours to the general public. As a result of this publicity and problem with the NCAA, ESPN now prohibits offering such tours.

But clearly ESPN must have felt guilty about the advantage it gave to its home-state women's hoops program. The bet here is that had Moore not gone to UConn, Tennessee couldn't have been that far down her list.

So how to make amends? Give Summitt tons of free publicity in this advertisement. Yes, she's getting a lot of it, although the commercial is rather silly and Kenny Mayne looks foolish in it.

Is the current commercial a coincidence or a peace offering to the best coach in women's hoops history?

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