NCAA: Name the Women’s College Basketball Championship Trophy After My Hero, Pat Summitt
  • Petitioned Ncaa
  • Responded

This petition was delivered to:

Associate Director, Public Relations and Communications, NCAA
Gail Dent
Social Media Strategist for the NCAA
Dana Thomas
See response
NCAA Executive Vice President of Championships and Alliances
Mark Lewis
NCAA’s Vice President of Women’s College Basketball Championships
Anucha Browne Sanders

NCAA: Name the Women’s College Basketball Championship Trophy After My Hero, Pat Summitt

    1. Megan Netland
    2. Petition by

      Megan Netland

      Minneapolis, MN

Patricia Summitt is my hero, and a hero to many. That’s why I want the NCAA women’s college basketball championship trophy named after her.

When all the talk of basketball focused on men like Magic Johnson, Michael Jordan, and Dr. J, Pat Summitt was building the sport of women’s college basketball, practically from scratch.

When Pat Summitt took over the job of head coach at the University of Tennessee in 1974 -- at the age of 22 -- women’s college basketball was hardly a blip on the sports radar. It wasn’t officially recognized by the NCAA. It wasn’t considered an Olympic sport. And many women’s basketball programs had to struggle just to exist, getting nowhere near the resources that men’s college basketball programs received.

Pat Summitt changed all that. She fought to help institute Title IX at colleges around the United States, offering equal rights, equal numbers of sports, and equal scholarships for women’s athletics. She pushed to establish an NCAA basketball tournament for women, just like men had. And she co-captained the first ever U.S. women’s basketball Olympics team in 1976, and went on to coach the Olympics squad in 1984 (winning a gold medal).

At Tennessee, her record would cement her as the best coach ever in the sport of basketball, men’s or women’s. She has more victories than any basketball coach alive. She won eight NCAA championships. She has 18 Final Four appearances. She was so good that twice, the University of Tennessee asked her to coach the men’s team. She declined, and continued to build the Lady Vols into a powerhouse basketball team. In her time as coach, every single player who played for Pat Summitt graduated. Many went on to the WNBA. And at least 45 went on to coach basketball teams of their own.

Last year, Pat Summitt was diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer’s. She finished the 2011-2012 season, but then stepped down after 38 years as head coach, leaving behind one of the largest legacies in the world of sports. Pat Summitt isn’t giving up her fight, but her health has declined enough that she needed to stop coaching.

That’s why I want the NCAA to name the women’s college basketball Division I championship trophy after her. I can’t think of a greater honor than by naming the chief award in the entire sport after the person who helped make women’s college basketball into what it is today.

Pat Summitt made this little girl in Iowa want to go bigger. I wanted to play for her. I wanted to be her. She was a leader in giving me new role models, and I can't imagine that I am the only one. As women’s college basketball gets underway and the 2012-2013 season moves forward, let’s join together to ask the NCAA to honor Pat Summitt.

She may no longer be coaching. But she is still with us, and deserves this type of honor now.

Recent signatures


    1. Reached 35,000 signatures
    2. Decision-maker Dana Thomas responds:

    3. Reached 12,500 signatures
    4. Back Pat: A Petition Worth Signing

      Michael Jones
      Senior Campaign Director

      The Nashville Scene covers Megan Netland's campaign urging the NCAA to name the women's college basketball championship trophy after Pat Summitt:

      Back Pat: A Petition Worth Signing

      Back Pat: A Petition Worth Signing Posted by J.R. Lind on Tue, Nov 13, 2012 at 2:48 PM Sure seems like petitions are hotter than One Direction, doesn't it? With a stroke of an electronic pen, you too can back Tennessee's regression to the 1860s!

    5. Reached 1,000 signatures



    Jan 16, 2013

    RT @changeWomen: Super fan @megannetland is asking @NCAA to name the champions trophy after @patsummitt.

    Sean Cartell


    Dec 03, 2012

    Sign a petition to name the NCAA women's college basketball championship trophy after our own Pat Summitt.

    UT Knoxville


    Nov 20, 2012

    @megannetland: @NancyLieberman Petitioning the NCAA 2name the champ trophy after Pat Summitt:// is Geno supporting this lol

    Nancy Lieberman


    Nov 16, 2012

    RT @_Jazmin: @Candace_Parker @LisaLeslie @hopesolo Thought I'd forward this to all of you. Please help #womenathletes

    Lisa Leslie


    Nov 15, 2012

    Love this article on legendary coach Pat Summitt. Well done, @hhoagie

    Kim Turrisi


    Nov 14, 2012

    This #LadyVols RT@hoopfeed: Fans are petitioning for NCAA to name championship trophy after Pat Summitt (WBIR) #ncaaw

    Cindy Brunson


    Nov 14, 2012

    “@megannetland: Thanks for the RT! Please take a moment to sign my petition! Your signature would mean a lot.” DONE!

    Tamika Catchings

    Reasons for signing

    • Melissa Hill KNOXVILLE, TN
      • 9 months ago

      Pat Summitt dedicated her life to building and promoting the sport of Women's College basketball. She is a big part of why women's college basketball is where it is today. Renaming the trophy would be a fitting tribute.

    • Alice Stewart CHATTANOOGA, TN
      • 9 months ago

      She has a 100 percent graduation

    • sarah eichelman MORRISTOWN, TN
      • 9 months ago

      Pat Summitt brought attention and recognition to women's basketball long before anyone else and ran a clean program which emphasized excellence and discipline on the court and in the classroom with a high graduation rate.

    • Barry M Brown WOODBURN, KY
      • 9 months ago

      Pat has always been the heart beat of womens college bball!

    • Laura Rymer PETERSBURG, MI
      • 10 months ago

      she has been the best mentor to women and is in a class of her own.


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