Last May, the ABA's Nashville Rhythm named former Vandy star Ashley McElhiney its head coach, making her the first woman head coach of a men's pro team.
McElhiney was fired in the middle of a game Saturday night after co-owner Sally Anthony became upset when the coach refused to bench Matt Freije. It sounds like Freije had been hired by Anthony's co-owners against her wishes.
"To show you how dumb I was, I had not even heard of Matt Freije before," Anthony said. (Oh you showed plenty, love.)
Anthony came onto the court during the third quarter and ordered McElhiney to bench Freiji. Ashley ignored Anthony. Security guards ultimately came and took the owner away; McElhiney kept coaching and won the game.
Following the game, Anthony had another altercation with the brother of player.
Today brings word that the firing was probably void anyway, since Anthony, as a 33% owner, simply doesn't have the power. And the Tennessean is also reporting that Anthony ended up in the Vanderbilt hospital after Saturday's game. "I tripped on some stairs and hit my head last night," Anthony said Sunday afternoon. "Some people think that I did it on purpose, but I just tripped."
It is 2005, so it's no surprise to learn that there's a sallyanthony.com. Complete with low-grade self-promotion: "This talented performer, entrepreneur, pioneer and role model continually demonstrates that there are no limits to what one can achieve." "The past 12 months have proven to be an exceptional time for Anthony." "Success is not something new for Anthony."
She also claims to be a role model for many women. (Cough.)
Is it possible that this whole thing is just a bizarre publicity stunt? Good lord, I sure hope so. This world needs only one Courtney Love.
UPDATE: the players stick up for their coach, call their owner "ridiculous."
And the story has reached the sports pages of the Gray Lady. And just about every other paper in the country.