For over 125 years, Goldsmith’s department was a Memphis institution.
Scores of Memphians can remember when their family frequented the downtown Memphis location at the corner of Main Street and Gayoso during Christmas time to shop for gifts as well as the store’s famous window display.
However in 2005, after 135 years of being part of the city’s fabric Macy’s decided to make Goldsmith’s part of their umbrella along with department store chains such as Rich’s.
While most Memphians lamented the end of Goldsmith’s, which went the way of Libertyland and Mall of Memphis, the understanding was that the days of regional department stores was over.
What was once mom-and-pop became corporate. For years, the University of Tennessee was the mom-and-pop store that operated in the corporate machine that was the SEC.
It was where former players were treated like family and where stability was encouraged
Where logos such as the “Power T” and orange and white checkerboard end zones became not only regional institutions but worldwide.
But in 2012, Tennessee athletics, the biggest window to this state, has shifted itself from the mom-and-pop model to corporate America.
In other words, a sign of the times.
However, in the case of the “new” UT, PR fiascos and public squabbling has made the athletic department look like one big side show, something that became more evident on yesterday.
In an affidavit secured by the Knoxville News-Sentinel, legendary coach Pat Summit claimed that athletic director Dave Hart forced her into retirement instead of voluntary retirement as everyone assumed in April.
The affidavit, which is three pages, stated that Summit was essentially told by Hart that she would no longer be the coach in a meeting prior to the beginning of the NCAA tournament in March, a claim that UT officials have refuted publicly.
No question, if you saw Summit on the sidelines last season it was evident that she wasn’t the same person.
However, if, and that’s a big if, Hart did in fact mishandle Summit’s departure as head women’s basketball coach, the clock will begin to tick for him in Knoxville.
And with that another black eye in a litany of black eyes for UT.