February 04, 2005
McElhiney reinstated

Looks like Ashley McElhiney's wild ride has ended with her still in the coach's chair, as the rest of the management of the ABA's Nashville Rhythm has overruled co-owner Sally Anthony.

Yesterday's statement from the franchise said "the majority owners and the team general manager have since confirmed that this action was taken without their consent."

McElhiney's agent, Washington D.C.-based Gioberto Garcia, said the two sides held a lengthy meeting yesterday in Nashville with lawyers from both sides. McElhiney ultimately agreed that she and her representatives would not divulge the details of the meeting or discuss the on-court incident involving Anthony.

Another of the team's co-owners, Tony Bucher, is Anthony's husband. He will now take over her title as the team's CEO and oversee his brother, general manager Daniel Bucher.

Daniel Bucher did not return phone messages from The Tennessean yesterday.

It is unclear what, if any, role Anthony will maintain in the team's operations, but her status as a public face of the team management is almost certainly over.

"She is still part of the ownership," said Mark May, an Indianapolis attorney representing the team.


Yesterday, in just the second public statement from the franchise since the wild night unfolded, Daniel Bucher asked fans to reaffirm their support for the team.

"The owners regret the incident and want to apologize to Coach McElhiney, the team, our fans, Lipscomb University and our sponsors, all who have supported the team throughout the season," he said. "We have had a very successful season with a record of 18-7 and have worked hard to provide a good value to our fans.

"We understand any disappointment and anger our fans felt from the incident. But we now ask them to please put this in context with the whole season and show their support for our coach and the team. The Rhythm needs our fans to help us finish the season successfully."

May said he did not know if Anthony has spoken with McElhiney since Saturday.

"I do know this: she's received multiple apologies regarding the incident and I think she is comfortable with those," May said. "We want it to be clear that we are sorry that it happened."

After yesterday's meeting, McElhiney, the first woman to coach a men's professional basketball team, met with players and told them "we're good to go."

She said she's "very confident and comfortable with the decision I made to continue what I started. We've been in it together from the beginning and we'll finish it together."

And I wish you the best of luck. McElhiney has handled this incident with class and decorum, and with her on-court success so far, she should have plenty of opportunities to test her talent on bigger stages in the future.

Posted by Charles Kuffner on February 04, 2005 to Other sports | TrackBack

It should read as Gilberto Garcia, and the attorney for the Rhythm is Marc Moss - Tennessean reporter made a mistake on the names in the article.

Posted by: T on February 7, 2005 12:24 PM