Ashley Santos posts Twitter photo to show she is not pregnant
A former Marquette women’s basketball player who now is at Louisiana Tech posted a midriff-bearing photo of herself online Friday to prove she was not impregnated by Tyler Summitt, who resigned as the team’s head coach Thursday, the player’s parents told USA TODAY Sports on Friday.
Ashley Santos, a 5-foot-11 guard who just completed her redshirt junior season, posted the photo on her Twitter account followed by the hashtags #notprego and #Let’sMoveOn #LadyTechsterTerritory.
Santos’ parents said their daughter felt she had no choice as rumors escalated online that Summitt, the son of Hall of Fame coach Pat Summitt, resigned because he had impregnated one of the two players on Louisiana Tech’s team who transferred from Marquette, and Ashley Santos is one.
In a statement Summitt released Thursday, he said, “I am profoundly disappointed in myself for engaging in a relationship that has negatively affected the people I love, respect and care about the most.”
Louisiana Tech athletic director Tommy McClelland said Friday the school began investigating whether Summitt had engaged in an “inappropriate relationship” as soon as it was aware of the allegations, and Summitt resigned before the investigation was complete. But he provided no information about the alleged relationship.
“Please understand that there are just certain things that I am not going to be able to say, as it gets into personnel and privacy issues,” he said, according to a transcript of his news conference provided by the school. “There will be questions that you want to ask that I just cannot answer. I am sure you understand that.”
Ashley Santos’ mother, Lori, said all of Louisiana Tech’s players have been getting “bombarded” with phone calls and messages online about the rumors. But she said Ashley Santos, 21, felt compelled to respond because tweets focused the rumors on the two players who had transferred from Marquette in 2014, after the hiring of Summitt, who was an assistant coach for two seasons with Marquette before moving to Louisiana Tech at age 23. Those players were Santos and Brooke Pumroy.
“Ashley’s just an innocent bystander…,” Jose Santos, Ashley’s father, told USA TODAY Sports. “People were asking if she was pregnant, so she defended herself. That’s all that it is.”
Attempts to reach Pumroy for comment were unsuccessful. She announced during the season she would forgo her last year of eligibility, and on Friday Ashley Santos’ parents said their daughter, Pumroy’s former roommate, did not know where Pumroy was.
“She hasn’t seen her,” Lori Santos said. “She hasn’t spoken to her. Nothing.”
Malcolm Butler, associate athletic director for communications at Louisiana Tech, said the players are unavailable for comment.
“At this time our players are off limits until we complete the coaching transition,” Butler said by email. “I’m sure you can understand that this is an emotional time for our young ladies.”
Mickie DeMoss, the associate head coach under Summitt, has been named interim head coach and is out of the country on vacation, the school announced.