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Wednesday, April 2
Updated: April 7, 8:55 PM ET
Auriemma says Perretta has joined 'evil empire'

Scripps Howard News Service

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. -- Geno has joined the coaching saga of Harry and Pat.

Connecticut women's basketball coach Geno Auriemma weighed in this week in typical fashion on the friendship between Tennessee coach Pat Summitt and Villanova's Harry Perretta.

The story gained prominence this week when the two teams met in the Mideast Regional final, with Tennessee winning 73-49.

In a story that appeared in the Hartford Courant on Monday, Auriemma referred to the Summitt-Perretta friendship as "nauseating.''

"If I see them one more time together on ESPN, I'm going to throw up,'' he said.

Told that he sounded jealous, Auriemma, who is a friend of Perretta's, said, "I am jealous. Harry and I used to be in the hot tub together. He dumped me for the 'evil empire.' ''

Auriemma went on to say that Perretta talked Xs and Os with him before Connecticut's demolition of Tennessee in the 2000 national championship game in Philadelphia.

There was a tongue-in-cheek quality to Auriemma's jabs. He called Perretta and the two chatted amicably as the Wildcats' coach was entering Thompson-Boling Arena before Monday's game.

Still, Summitt wasn't amused.

"I agree with Geno that he (Geno) is jealous,'' she said. "I think you could also put 'paranoid' in there. I think you learn more about Geno from this than you do about Pat or Harry.

"He made the comment that Harry left him for an older woman. In Philly (the Final Four in 2000), he talked about me being old. Well, I think you all need to look at the record. He is just a year behind me.''

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