Whenever I see search engine referrals for Ashley McElhiney in my logs it can mean only one thing: she's back in the news.
Former Vanderbilt point guard Ashley McElhiney indicated yesterday that if the ABA Nashville Rhythm returns for a second season it might do so without the first woman to coach a men's professional basketball team.
Revealing her frustration with the unpredictable ownership group, McElhiney told The Tennessean yesterday: "I don't know what the future is for the Rhythm. For me, I think it's best that I move on and explore other opportunities."
McElhiney said she was dumbfounded when the team's owners declined a berth in the ABA playoffs.
"It's frustrating," McElhiney said. "That's what you play and practice for.
"We put together a record of 21-10 with not necessarily an all-star team. Then we finished our regular season strong. Why do you even play the season? Why can't we just finish?"
The first-year franchise made national news by hiring McElhiney, and again when co-owner Sally Anthony stormed the court during a game and confronted McElhiney about playing former Vandy star Matt Freije, who had signed a one-game contract.
Anthony tried to fire McElhiney after the game but was blocked by the team's other owners. Anthony subsequently was removed as the team's chief executive offer.
Then came a non-attributed news release through the ABA office declining the playoff berth. It read: "We've lost several players and felt we were not ready for the playoffs; we decided to open a spot in the playoffs for a more competitive team."
McElhiney already has filled her schedule with two AAU coaching jobs and continues to provide personal basketball training to area youngsters.
"I guess I'll never really know the reason why we are not playing," McElhiney said.