MINNEAPOLIS (AP) -- Tonya Moten Brown, the University of Minnesota vice president in charge of athletics, has disputed remarks made by women's athletics director Chris Voelz about departed basketball coach Brenda Oldfield.
At a news conference Tuesday, Voelz said Oldfield cited concerns over the local high school talent base as one reason she took the coaching job at Maryland. She said Oldfield made her remarks during a conference call Sunday night with Moten Brown and in front of Voelz and Laurie McLaughlin, a deputy vice president, who tried to persuade her to stay at Minnesota.
According to Voelz, Oldfield said her reasons for leaving were weather, facilities and "the talent base in Minnesota could not win a national championship." Voelz stood by her comments Wednesday.
The comments attributed to Oldfield left some Gophers players angry.
Oldfield on Thursday denied making them.
"Those three points are not consistent with anything I've ever said since coming to the University of Minnesota," Oldfield said. "People who know me know those are statements I would never make."
Moten Brown said Thursday she told Voelz that she did not recall Oldfield making the "talent base" statement.
"I don't mind saying that my recollection is a little different," Moten Brown said. "My understanding was that Brenda would weigh a lot of factors -- and that recruiting base and ability to recruit kids to Minnesota would factor into a decision.
"I would not necessarily draw any inferences that because she chose to go to Maryland it must mean she didn't have that here. She didn't say those words," Moten Brown said.
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