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Was Tyler Summitt’s age to blame for his behavior?

April 14, 2016

On April 7, Tyler Summitt resigned as head coach for the Lady Techsters basketball team.

 

 

The married coach stated he was leaving for engaging “in a relationship that has negatively affected the people I love, respect and care about the most.”

 

 

Many news outlets around the country reported the relationship resulted in one of Summitt’s players getting pregnant.

 

 

Soon after, player Ashley Santos also posted on social media denying rumors that she was the player involved with Summitt.

 

 

Soon after the news broke, many people across social media platforms blamed Summitt’s actions on his age.

 

 

The Tech Talk staff is split on the issue of Summitt’s age having been a major contributing factor to the incident.

 

 

Some editors believe his age would make it inherently harder to coach college basketball, as he was too close to his players’ age to manage effectively.

 

 

Another said it was not hard to see how Summitt would be attracted to the girls as they were close to his age.

 

 

One editor cited an interview with Tommy McClelland in USA Today after Summitt’s hiring in which he said the hiring would not have occurred at 99 percent of Division One schools.

 

 

The editor said that comes with good reason.

 

 

Other editors were more dismissive of Summitt’s age as a factor, however.

 

 

One said many 23-year-olds would not give up a marriage, reputation and six-figure salary for an inappropriate relationship.

 

 

She said to say a person can’t mentor someone in their own age group is like saying someone like Tech President Les Guice should not be allowed to oversee middle-aged women.

 

 

All editors agreed that Summitt’s decision will make it harder for younger prospective coaches to break into the field.

 

 

His reckless behavior will be on potential hirers’ minds when they interview younger applicants for coaching jobs.

 

 

One editor said he would like to think other young coaches should not be penalized for Tyler’s mistakes and teams should weigh the risk and reward of coaching candidates individually, but that it would  likely not be the case going forward.

 

 

Other editors agreed that it should not affect younger coaching applicants, but it unfortunately would.

 

 

Regardless of Summitt’s age, his actions were unprofessional and left a stain on Tech athletics.

 

 

Though the staff is split on the issue of Summitt’s age, all agree that Tech’s next hiring will be extraordinarily important.

 

 

Summit’s actions have drawn increased scrutiny to the Lady Techsters’ program on a national level.

 

 

Whoever takes over the coaching position after Summitt must be cognizant of said scrutiny.

 

 

The age factor aside, the school cannot afford another mistake on the same level.

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