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PostWatch
 

Tuesday, July 02, 2002
 
8:36 AM

Reading the tea leaves... I don't know a damn thing about the political nexus linking the WNBA and the Department of Education, but this story in the sports section says Cynthia Cooper resigned as coach of the Phoenix Mercury last Wednesday. On Thursday, as noted here by a blog that doesn't follow the Mercury very closely, she was named to co-chair a Title IX Commission created by Education Secretary Rod Paige.

Post writer Kathy Orton:

Cooper, who resigned hours before the Mercury's game against Seattle on Wednesday, cited family reasons for her decision. Cooper's resignation came on the heels of all-star Brandy Reed's second suspension for conduct detrimental to the team. Reed, a 6-foot-1 forward, was suspended June 18 and is not expected to return. In addition, Maria Stepanova, the team's top rebounder and second-leading scorer last season, is sitting out because she is pregnant. "It never stops," Mercury forward Jennifer Gillom told the Arizona Republic. "I don't guess nothing shocks me any more. I hadn't a clue [Cooper would resign]. She will definitely be missed. I'm speechless. I've been in tears the whole time."

Cooper and her husband, Brian Dyke, became parents of twins, Brian Jr. and Cyan, who were born to a surrogate mother on June 15. After becoming a four-time WNBA finals most valuable player with the Houston Comets, Cooper went 19-23 in her 1 1/2 seasons as coach. She recently was selected to co-chair of the commission that will study the effects of Title IX.



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