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COLLEN DECLINES VANDERBILT OFFER 5/2/01

Tom Collen has declined to accept Vanderbiltís offer to become the Universityís womenís basketball coach. The following is a letter Coach Collen submitted to Director of Athletics Todd Turner this morning:

Todd Turner
Director of Athletics
Vanderbilt University

Dear Todd: Given the events of the last few days, I have decided that it is not in the best interests of Vanderbilt University and my family to accept your offer to be Head Womenís Basketball Coach.

I have great respect for the character and integrity of Vanderbilt University and would not want my presence to detract from that in any way. Please know how deeply I regret the misunderstandings that have occurred and any embarrassment this may have caused to you, the Vanderbilt Athletics program and the University community.

Respectfully,
Tom Collen

Statement from Tom Collen:
Although I am certainly devastated by what has happened, I walk away from this opportunity at Vanderbilt knowing the discrepancy on my resume submitted to Colorado State in 1997 was an honest mistake and not one of deception.

I apologize to my colleagues at Colorado State for inferring that they misinterpreted the information that was in my inaccurate resume.

I am a man of integrity. I have spent over 20 years in the game of womenís basketball teaching the game I love and gaining the respect of those involved. Iím embarrassed by what has happened, but Iím proud of who I am.

Statement from Director of Athletics Todd Turner:
ďIt is unfortunate that we did not have the opportunity to review the application that Coach Collen submitted to Colorado State University in 1997. We did validate that the information he submitted to Vanderbilt was consistent with his academic record and made our offer with this understanding. However, the integrity of our program and Vanderbilt University is paramount. I know this decision was difficult for him to make, but it was the right one. We will continue our search immediately to find new leadership.Ē

Statement from Chancellor Gordon Gee:
I appreciate Tom Collenís decision not to accept the position as womenís basketball coach. Vanderbiltís most valuable currency is its integrity. We have high standards for ourselves and especially for the people whom we ask to be leaders, teachers and coaches to our students. Tom Collen is a decent man, and I know he would not want his presence to distract from our commitment to excellence and honesty.Ē


 









 
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
                   
Vanderbilt Athletic Department
2601 Jess Neely Drive
Nashville, TN 37212
615-322-GOLD (4653)