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Summitt gets paid

SPECIAL TO ESPN.COM

May 30, 2006

Congratulations to Pat Summitt. Recently she became the million dollar coach, and to be honest, I was shocked. I thought she was already making at least that much money. Just now she is over the seven-figure mark? Wow!

Summitt has been absolutely amazing, an inspiration, someone who motivates people. I have said it before she can coach at any level she wants. I firmly believe she is capable of coaching in any sport. Summitt has the ability to communicate, to inspire and get the most out of people. That is what coaching is all about.

I know some would say that women's basketball has come a long way with a coach making over $1 million. If they make it on the men's basketball coaching side, why shouldn't they on the women's side. They put in the same long hours and bust their gut just like the guys do. Today, women's coaches get the ziggy too; just pick up the transaction page and read about many being let go. When that happens, you know you have arrived because there is an interest out there, beyond the norm.

Pat Summitt has been a legend and a Hall of Famer in her sport. She's been the ambassador who's helped put the sport into the forefront. Right there with her is Geno Auriemma of Connecticut, and he flat-out deserves the big bucks. They are two giants and considering what they have achieved and their importance to their two universities, they deserve every penny they receive.

They mean so much in terms of exposure, public relations and notoriety given to their schools. The positive publicity means so much.

Pat Summitt, you have earned it as one of the giants working the sidelines of any sport.

Dick Vitale coached the Pistons and the University of Detroit before broadcasting ESPN's first college basketball game in 1979. Send a question for Vitale for possible use on ESPNEWS.