Pat Summitt gave me a little insight into her upcoming book, being penned by Washington Post sports writer Sally Jenkins.
Titled "Sum It Up," Summitt said the memoir "will be pretty open," but did not elaborate about what those details will be. Previous reports indicate the book will touch on her diagnosis last year of early-onset dementia, Alzheimer's type.
Perhaps it will also include her numerous miscarriages and divorce from Sevier County banker R.B. Summitt.
She grew up a farmer's daughter in Middle Tennessee and said she held her own with her brothers doing the chores around the spread.
Summitt told me during a chat at the ESPY Awards in Los Angeles this summer that her days on the farm gave her the determination and grit needed to forge through challenges in life.
"Sum It Up," coming through an imprint of Random House, is due out in the spring of 2013.
Undoubtedly it will be a best seller, especially around East Tennessee, where the former head coach of the Lady Vols is an icon. Proof of that status was evident on Monday, when Summitt made a brief cameo appearance on the fourth hour of "Today," with Kathie Lee Gifford and Hoda Kotb.
As soon as Summitt was introduced on the set, the crowd of mostly traditional age college students started chanting "We back Pat!"
How did it make Summitt feel to know she was the biggest star on stage at that moment?
"Oh," she said humbly, "I don't know about that. These women are great ... I watch their show. They tell it like it is."
As for a much-rumored documentary about her life, Summitt said she doesn't think one is in the works currently.
Vols head football coach Derek Dooley took some ribbing from Gifford and Kotb during the "Today" broadcast, live from The Hill area on the UT campus.
In a pre-taped segment, Dooley was asked what he thought about Gifford and Kotb coming to UT for a show. His response was one of those scene stealers of the telecast.
In a deadpan moment, Dooley said, "I'd probably be more excited if (former pro football player)Frank Gifford (Kathie Lee's husband) was coming to campus, not Kathie Lee Gifford."
And then ...
Among the guests that "Today" wasn't able to book for its UT installment was Sevier County songbird Dolly Parton.
"I love Dolly," Gifford told me at a make-up and hair area set up in Ayres Hall. "I've known her for a long time, and she is the greatest person."
Parton was in Los Angeles, where she is working on her own book project, "Dream More," due in November.
The book has been described as being full of "inspirational wisdom" tales, based on stories from her life.
"I know that I've learned some things in my life that are important to me, and I think maybe they might be good ideas to pass along to you," Parton is quoted in a news release about the book.
"Not as advice, but as information that I have found has helped me over the years. Enough to share, and a little to spare."
Terry Morrow may be reached at 865-342-6445 or email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter@Telebuddy for the latest celebrity news.
© 2012, Knoxville News Sentinel Co.
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