Chatman didn't resign from LSU willingly

Updated: August 13, 2007, 10:39 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

Pokey Chatman did not leave willingly.

That's what the former LSU women's basketball coach told reporters recently, in her first public comments since leaving the school under a cloud of allegations in March.

"The best word would be bombarded," Chatman said, according to Baton Rouge's The Advocate. "I'm at the hairdresser and I get a call [from associate head coach Bob Starkey saying], 'They don't want you to take the practice floor [March 6] at 12 o'clock.' I have never spoken to a LSU person in position of authority before, during or after. Only my subordinate [Starkey]. That's it. I couldn't tell you what the allegations were specifically."

Carla Berry, Chatman's former teammate and assistant at LSU, came forward alleging that the coach had sexual relationships with former players. The 37-year-old Chatman resigned with two years remaining on her contract and didn't coach the team in the NCAA tournament.

Conducting a basketball camp at her alma mater, Hahnville High in Boutte, La., Chatman said she was hurt by the way the school handled the situation.

"I had a 20-year career at LSU, and that didn't warrant a 20-minute conversation," she said, according to the New Orleans Times-Picayune. "Would I do things different? That's difficult to say, because I didn't get to do anything. And I'll just leave it at that. I don't want to wrestle in the mud with the pigs. The bottom line is, I worked 20 years for an institution, and I couldn't get a 20-minute conversation about what was going on. That told me right then and there that I was not wanted there."

Chatman said she resigned so that the team would not suffer under a protracted controversy. She has since been consulting with a shoe company and weighing her options.

"Will I coach again? I'm coaching today," she said from the camp, according to the Times-Picayune. "Will I ever coach another college team? You never rule anything out, but that's not what I'm looking for today."

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