Moten Brown's recollection different from Voelz's

Wire reports

Tonya Moten Brown, the University of Minnesota vice president in charge of athletics, told the Star Tribune her recollection of comments attributed to departed women's basketball coach Brenda Oldfield is a "little bit different" from the interpretation women's athletic director Chris Voelz publicly announced.

At a news conference Tuesday, Voelz said Oldfield cited concerns over the high school talent base as one of the reasons for her departure to Maryland. Voelz said Oldfield's remarks came during a conference call Sunday night with Moten Brown and in front of Voelz and Laurie McLaughlin, a university deputy vice president.

According to Voelz, Oldfield said her reasons for leaving were weather, facilities, and, "the talent base in Minnesota could not win a national championship." The comments attributed to Oldfield left some Gophers players angry.

Oldfield on Thursday denied making those comments. She declined to give her reasons for leaving, but did nothing to dispel rumors of a strained relationship with Voelz.


Reached Thursday in Maryland, Oldfield said, "The thing people need to realize is, those three points are not consistent with anything I've ever said since coming to the University of Minnesota. People who know me know those are statements I would never make.

"I'm a little suspicious as to what's going on. Obviously, I'm in a unique situation now. I'm not back there to follow up and find out what's going on. It's kind of unfortunate that while I'm (in Maryland) I can't defend myself. The timing is kind of amazing."

Asked whether her relationship with Voelz had deteriorated before her departure, Oldfield said, "I think people can come to their own conclusions, make their own inferences. You're seeing misleading communication right now. I appreciate what she did in terms of hiring me and bringing me in there. Unfortunately, she's speaking on behalf of someone else. I appreciate having the opportunity to speak for myself."

Voelz did not return a phone call seeking comment Thursday.

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