10:19 AM ETDick VitaleCollege Basketball analyst CloseDick Vitale, college basketball’s top analyst and ambassador, joined ESPN during buy jerseys cheap online the 1979-80 season. His thorough knowledge of the game is brought forth in an enthusiastic, passionate style. Vitale also contributes columns to ESPN.com.Follow on TwitterFacebookTwitterPinterestEmailprintcomment

I have so many great memories of Tim Duncan. I called a number of his games at Wake Forest, and I was so impressed with him from the first time I laid eyes on him.

Duncan has decided to retire after 19 incredible years with the San Antonio Spurs.

When he went to Wake Forest, he was not a McDonald’s All American. Coach Dave Odom saw potential in the player later known as The Big Fundamental. Duncan was a swimmer from the Virgin Islands at the time, and he took coaching to heart.

Duncan responded to teaching and worked so hard wholesale college basketball jerseys to improve his game. The staff at Wake Forest did a great job with him. It did not happen overnight.

As a freshman, he averaged fewer than 10 points per game. Then he was a double-double machine over his last three seasons, including 20.8 ppg. and 14.7 rebounds per game as a senior.

Duncan was a warrior on both ends of the court. In my estimation, he became the best power forward in the history of the game. He was super, scintillating and sensational.

I love stories of athletes who came out of nowhere. He wasn’t told at age 14 or 15 that he was the greatest player. He went into the gym and busted his gut, worked out, developed his body and his skills.

The result was superstardom.

Think about his career in San Antonio. Beside all of the personal accolades, he won five NBA titles and did it within the team concept buy cheap sports jerseys online. Gregg Popovich got the most out of him in a positive way, both offensively and defensively.

It is great to see a guy with his class and stature go out with greatness.

The VBDI (Vitale Bald Dome Index) says he is the greatest power forward in NBA history. He had a great, great career. I remember when it all started at Wake Forest. I watched hm grow into a great player.

Congrats on buy jerseys cheap a hall of fame career.


Editor’s note: Maura Healey, the attorney general of Massachusetts who played women’s college basketball at Harvard, pays tribute to Pat Summitt.

Like many, I awoke this week to the news that legendary Tennessee Lady Vols basketball coach Pat Summitt had died. Throughout the day, I exchanged texts with fellow hoopsters, coaches and friends, all saddened by the news. I was moved by the tributes and stories chronicling her career and impact. Pat Summitt is rightly hailed as a pioneer, a trailblazer, a role model and an inspiration. She got the most out of her players, put women’s hoops on the map and profoundly changed the perception of gender across American sports culture. She broke records, pushed teams and players beyond what they even imagined was possible, and she showed that girls can play.

Editor’s PicksLegendary Summitt truly one of a kind

She was one of sports’ most accomplished figures but also universally beloved and humbly warm. To say there will never be anyone like Pat Summitt is not hyperbole. In fact, it seems inadequate.

‘Around the Rim’: Remembering Pat Summitt

LaChina Robinson celebrates the life and legacy of Pat Summitt with Moxley Carmichael’s Maria Cornelius, espnW’s Mechelle Voepel, South Carolina’s Nikki McCray and Vanderbilt’s Carolyn Peck.

Full coverage: Remembering Pat Summitt

She was one of sports’ most accomplished figures but also universally beloved. To say there will never be anyone like Pat Summitt is not hyperbole.

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Coming into coaching just after Title IX went into effect, she made the most of that opportunity, and over the course of her career blew doors open to advance gender equity and became the winningest basketball coach in NCAA Division I history to boot.

I didn’t know Pat Summitt and I didn’t play for her. But for me, like so many, Pat Summitt was a big-time influence on my life. Sadly, it’s in her passing that I find myself appreciating all that she meant.

In a hot July summer when I was 15 years old, I made a trip to Knoxville, Tennessee. I was on my way home to New Hampshire with my coach following play in the national AAU tournament in Oxford, Mississippi. We came in fifth place and I took home an All-American award.

I was excited and determined to visit the playground and classroom of a coach I hoped to play for someday. Because if you were a young girl growing up then, the coach you knew, the one you wanted to play for, the ultimate destination, was Pat Summitt. When I did my ball handling, shooting and zigzag drills in cold winter gyms and outdoors on playground hard-top under pelting summer sun, when I did fingertip pushups and sit-ups in my bedroom calculating that I’d play on four Olympic teams before I was done, my eye was on Pat Summitt. Because when you were a young girl with big hoop dreams, when you thought you could do and be anything, you dreamed of playing for Pat Summitt in a Lady Vols uniform.

Fans like 7-year-old Ava Stooksbury attended a candlelight vigil in memory of Pat Summitt on Wednesday. AP Photo/Wade Payne

So when we pulled up to the athletic complex that day, I felt like I was visiting the promised land. Maybe it was because of my wide eyes — or maybe it was our funny accents — the kind receptionist who looked like she’d seen this movie before took pity on us and said that “Coach Summitt” was on the road recruiting, but that I could meet with one of her assistants. A short while later, out came assistant coach (and current Tennessee head coach) Holly Warlick.

Holly had been a super player and a point guard like myself, so I was immediately pumped. (In retrospect, I can imagine that poor Holly had to deal with this scenario many times each week.) She walked us around the facility and showed us the trophies and Lady Vols memorabilia. I was like a kid in the candy store; I bought a Lady Vols T-shirt at the campus store and we hit the road. After, Coach Warlick sent me a nice letter and told me to keep in touch — a gracious touch but one I now realize was extended to probably thousands of girls who showed up similarly unannounced at the door. But I was pumped and returned to New Hampshire fired up.

Later on, I got invited to try out for the national team. I went to the trials and was promptly cut after the first couple of sessions. Before I did, I had the chance to scrimmageunder the watchful eye of Pat Summitt, who was helping scout for the team. And for those few hours one day, I felt like a champ, getting to share the hardwood with Pat Summitt.

Maura Healey, the Massachusetts attorney general, says Pat Summitt “was a genius” who “changed the face of what it meant to be a female athlete.” Jessica Rinaldi/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

I remember at the end, before heading home, I wanted to go up to her and tell her how great she was. Instead, I got shy and merely mumbled something like, “Thanks for having me. I learned a lot.” But, I’ll never forget, she looked at me with those steely blue eyes, and said, “Just keep working hard.” That was it. No fuss, no muss. That was my first and only interaction with Pat Summitt.

Years later, after I had the chance to play college ball for a great coach and an even better person, Kathy Delaney-Smith cheap college basketball jerseys at Harvard, I watched and rooted for Pat Summitt’s teams. It was visceral. I couldn’t exactly explain why I felt that way, but I did. Even as the New England favorites UConn Huskies — a great program with great players and a great coach — came to dominate, I still always rooted for Pat.

I’m older now. I still play, but very poorly. But I think I better understand.

Pat Summitt made it OK for girls like me to compete, to play hard, to bring it with sweat, conviction and emotion. To dream big, even foolishly, but to dream. She made us believe in ourselves and value ourselves as women competing in sport. But, importantly, she made America sit up and take notice — to recognize that women bring as much to any endeavor as their male counterparts.

I think that what I was also tuning into — but I didn’t know it at the time — was the power of leadership. Basketball is a team game; success buy cheap jerseys china depends upon getting five players to work together in sync on the court, and for the entire team to get those on the court in the best position to succeed and win at any given time. Leadership is about recognizing the skills and talents — and limitations — of all the players and then figuring out how to maximize their efforts in a way that gets collective results.

“She looked at me with those steely blue eyes, and said ‘Just keep working hard.’ That was it. No fuss, no muss. That was my first and only interaction with Pat Summitt.”

Pat Summitt was willing to lead, to take chances, to advocate. And she trusted her players and her coaching staff. She put the right people in place in the right time and got them working together. She also was tough. And tough is good. Because if something’s worth doing, it’s worth doing with intensity and intent.

Look at clips of her buy cheap jerseys from china coaching from the sidelines. With just one piercing, penetrating look, Pat Summitt could convey to a player that she wasn’t doing enough. But look at the same time, at the hand extended, a hand that says “I believe in you. I encourage you.”

Leaders inspire and push people to be their better selves. And that’s what I took from watching Pat Summitt — taking whatever skills you bring to the dance and making that work for the team and getting people together to get it done.

Look, I didn’t have the opportunity to play for her, so this is only what I observed. Pat Summitt was a leader. You could put her on any battlefield, in any board room, and she would make you a winner. Great coaches know how to inspire, they know how to push people beyond where they think they can go, and they know when to give a high five, a hug, or a stern talking to.

Pat Summitt was a genius. She knew how to do it. She changed the face of what it meant to be a female athlete. To compete, to work hard, to sweat, to get angry, to rally, to win. She knew defeat and she knew victory, and she knew the difference that mattered. The country is a poorer place with her gone. I never got to tell her this: She mattered to me, and a whole bunch of people. And that’s a great legacy. Touching people you never knew you touched.

Well before orange was buy cheap jerseys online the new black, we had Pat Summitt.

It’s a playbook to follow.


This story appears in ESPN College Football 2016, on newsstands now. Order online today!

Leonard Fournette and Myles Garrett don’t need to fend off any preseason challengers.

But not everybody has the same job security as Fournette, LSU’s star running back, and Texas A&M’s all-world pass-rusher, Garrett.

Here’s the biggest position battle for all 14 SEC teams, presented in order of projected finish.

East DivisionTennessee Volunteers : Left tackle

Longtime starter Kyler Kerbyson is gone, and RT Chance Hall missed the spring with an injury, so Brett Kendrick shifted to his spot. That leaves redshirt freshman Drew Richmond to battle senior Dontavius Blair on the left. Richmond could be the future at this position, but he’ll have to adjust after moving from the right side.

As impressive as Jacob Eason was this spring at Georgia, he’s still a true freshman and will have to battle it out this August in order to win the starting gig. John Bazemore/AP PhotoGeorgia Bulldogs : Quarterback

Pick your poison, Georgia. Graduate transfer and returning starter Greyson Lambert struggled deep into SEC play, averaging just 164.3 pass yards per game. Junior Brice Ramsey, the early 2015 favorite, punted almost as much as he threw last season. True freshman Jacob Eason, the top-ranked prep QB in 2016, is clearly the future of the position but has yet to take a collegiate snap. Although Eason boasts the purest talent of the trio, the Bulldogs’ staff has said it wants to bring him along carefully. So many options … so little clarity.

Florida Gators : Quarterback

There will be pressure until a Gators QB finally proves he can consistently throw against SEC opponents. Former starter Treon Harris moved to receiver, then was suspended in the spring, so Luke Del Rio, who walked on last year, is the favorite. Still, Del Rio failed to establish himself in stints at Alabama and Oregon State, which leaves room for Purdue graduate transfer Austin Appleby and true freshmen Feleipe’ Franks and Kyle Trask to enter the race.

South Carolina Gamecocks : Quarterback

New OC Kurt Roper wants to run an up-tempo spread, so mobility under center will be critical. While a trio of QBs who logged starts in 2015 return (Perry Orth, Lorenzo Nunez, Connor Mitch), true freshman and 2016 ESPN 300 dual-threat Brandon McIlwain may be best suited to run Roper’s O in the long run.

Missouri Tigers : Offensive line

New faces, redshirts and backups abound. Down four starters with nearly 130 career starts, the O-line returns only a couple of semi-familiar names in Nate Crawford and Alec Abeln, who combined for 11 starts last season. Both tackles will start from scratch, while a couple of sophomores, OT Paul Adams and G Kevin Pendleton, got some work toward the end of the season and could man the right side.

Kentucky Wildcats : Linebacker

The Wildcats lose six of their top seven tacklers from 2015, including, most critically,wholesale college football jerseys LB Josh Forrest. The unit was dealt an additional blow with the offseason dismissal of Jason Hatcher (marijuana trafficking), so Kentucky will depend on a pair of Big Ten transfers — Courtney Love from Nebraska and De’Niro Laster from Minnesota — to fill the hole in the defense’s depleted middle.

Vanderbilt Commodores : Safety

Derek Mason’s D relies heavily on its safeties’ ability to play both in the back end and in the box. With Andrew Williamson gone, junior Oren Burks needs help at the other spot. There’s depth (Ryan White, Emmanuel Smith and Arnold Tarpley return), and frosh Joejuan Williams, Vandy’s lone 2016 ESPN 300 prep, enrolled early and will vie for playing time from Day 1.

best site to buy cheap jerseys West DivisionLSU Tigers : Quarterback

For the third time in as many years, Brandon Harris will compete for QB1. (He served as backup in 2014 before being named starter last season.) Harris, a junior, had a solid first half in 2015, playing to a 78.2 QBR through Week 7, only to throw three TDs and five picks in November. The dual-threat QB will face off against a dropback passer, Purdue transfer Danny Etling, to try to kick-start an aerial attack that ranked No. 105 in the FBS (180.4 yards per game).

Alabama Crimson Tide : Quarterback

Count the Tide as yet another SEC team with a question mark at QB. Junior Cooper Bateman lost the starting job to Jake Coker last season, and this year, Bateman must fend off redshirt freshman Blake Barnett and sophomore David Cornwell for the gig. No matter which pro-style passer gets tabbed, he’ll be best website to buy cheap jerseys Lane Kiffin’s third straight first-time starter in Tuscaloosa.

Ole Miss Rebels: Offensive line

All five starters who lined up in the trenches for the Rebels’ Sugar Bowl victory in January are gone. The arrival of five-star signee OT Gregory Little, the second-ranked prep in the 2016 ESPN 300, certainly helps, but potential starters Rod Taylor and Robert Conyers are the only Ole Miss veterans along the O-line (12 combined career starts). A handful of other linemen (Javon Patterson, Jordan Sims, Sean Rawlings) have some starting reps, but the front line is in major rebuilding mode.

Texas A&M Aggies : Running back

The quarterback saga in College Station is compelling, and certainly critical, but finding Tra Carson’s heir apparent at running back will also be vital this fall. Carson was the first 1,000-yard rusher in the Sumlin era, and though the Aggies have a host of backfield options, the unit’s leading veteran is now junior James White, who ran for just 196 yards last season. Look for Oklahoma transfer Keith Ford and three other backs to push for touches.

Mississippi State Bulldogs: buy cheap jerseys Quarterback

Dak Prescott owns every Mississippi State career passing record, so good luck to his successor. In the spring, Mullen rotated four QBs with the first team, all of whom are promising, if inexperienced. Sophomore Nick Fitzgerald went 11-of-14 for 235 yards and three TDs in eight games last season. Damian Williams and Elijah Staley: 75 career attempts combined. Nick Tiano? Freshman. As Mullen said, this one’s wide open.

Auburn Tigers : Quarterback

Jeremy Johnson earned preseason Heisman chatter in 2015 — then tossed six INTs in the Tigers’ first three games. Sean White took over and wasn’t much better, throwing for one TD in seven outings. The two are in the mix for starter again, with juco transfer John Franklin III as a dual-threat option.

Arkansas Razorbacks : Offensive line

Former starting quarterback Brandon Allen’s younger brother, Austin, will inherit the QB reins, but the question now is who will protect him. RT Dan Skipper and C Frank Ragnow return, but the Hogs are otherwise inexperienced. Among potential starters: redshirt freshman Colton Jackson and converted defensive lineman Hjalte Froholdt.


AUSTIN, Texas — The sexual assault scandal that took down Baylor University’s president and revered football coach also found a problem with a bedrock of the school’s faith-based education: a student conduct code banning alcohol, drugs and premarital sex that might have driven cheap college football jerseys some victims into silence.

Investigators with the Pepper Hamilton law firm who dug into Baylor’s response to sexual assault claims determined the school’s rigid approach to drugs, alcohol and sex and “perceived judgmental responses” to victims who reported being raped “created barriers” to reporting assaults. Some women faced the prospect of their family being notified.

“A number of victims were told that if they made a report of rape, their parents would be informed of the details of where they were and what they were doing,” said Chad Dunn, a Houston attorney who represents six women who have sued Baylor under the anonymous identification of Jane Doe.

The nation’s largest best place to buy cheap jerseys Baptist university is a notably conservative place in one of the most conservative states in the country. Dancing on campus was banned until 1996. Fornication, adultery and homosexual acts were included in an official list of misconduct until May 2015, and the current policy stresses that “physical sexual intimacy is to be expressed in the context of marital fidelity.”

As a sexual assault scandal roils both Baylor University and victims, the school’s rigid student conduct policy appears to have played a role. AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez

Students can still be expelled for using drugs or alcohol, though late last year it included amnesty for minor offenses. Pepper Hamilton investigators urged the school to expand amnesty to sexual conduct code violations; the federal government told all U.S. universities in 2011 that conduct policies can have a chilling effect on reporting sexual assault.

“Amnesty is a no-brainer,” said Shan Wu, a former federal sex crimes prosecutor who is now a criminal defense attorney specializing in student legal issues. “Unfortunately, these codes force students to engage in life-or-death calculations,” said Wu,best place to buy jerseys online cheap who isn’t involved in the Baylor case.

Baylor officials say they are already making changes. Interim president David Garland, who took over in late May for ousted president and chancellor Ken Starr, said the university considered all of the firm’s recommendations as “mandates.”

“Expectations for our students are outlined in university conduct policies and are a reflection of our faith-based mission,” school spokeswoman Tonya Lewis said, noting that the amnesty provisions for drug and alcohol use should assure sexual assault victims that Baylor will focus on their allegations. Baylor has repeatedly declined to comment on specific cases.

“Student safety and support for survivors of all types of interpersonal violence are paramount to the mission of Baylor University,” Lewis said.

But such offers of amnesty are too late for women who previously reported assaults and who told Pepper Hamilton investigators about hurdles they faced in dealing with Baylor officials. Eight former Baylor students have brought three federal lawsuits best place to get cheap jerseys against the school, outlining rape allegations as far back as 2005 that they say were either ignored or discouraged from reporting.

Dunn would not allow his clients to be interviewed by the AP to protect their identity, but he relayed questions to them.

Two women said they were pushed to accept alcohol conduct violations when they reported their assaults or feared sexual conduct violations if they did.

One woman said her case began when she called police to report a physical assault on another woman at an off-campus party. Police demanded to know whether she was underage and had been drinking then arrested and reported her to the school office that investigates conduct code violations, she said. She told Baylor officials her drinking was a result of being raped a month earlier and detailed what happened in person and in a letter.

She received an alcohol code violation and told to do 25 hours of community service, and when she tried to appeal, the woman said Baylor officials urged her to drop it. The school never pursued her rape claim.

“I was told by many Baylor staff that they couldn’t do anything for me because my assault was off campus, yet they had no problem punishing me for my off-campus drinking,” the woman said. Schools are bound by federal law to investigate on- and off-campus sex assault allegations.

The threat of a sexual conduct violation was a “common issue” that Baylor did nothing to dispel, another woman said.

Even when the code of conduct wasn’t an overt issue, some women who reported sexual assault said they were grilled about their behavior.

Stefanie Mundhenk, a former Baylor student who The Associated Press is identifying because she has publicly blogged about Baylor’s investigation into her 2015 rape allegations, told the AP that she was never threatened by conduct code violations but was repeatedly questioned about her sexual history.

“I was alarmed,” said Mundhenk, who is not among those suing Baylor. “It was biased and it was unfair. They were trying to gauge if I was a loose woman. They were looking to attack my reputation.”