Last Wednesday, Chatman unexpectedly issued a press release stating that she had resigned from her position as head coach of the LSU Tigers in order to pursue "other career opportunities." No one believed her. Was she jumping ship to take an offer elsewhere — perhaps Florida ?Why would she announce her departure before the NCAA tournament beginning next week? That something else quickly took center stage as word spread that Chatman had been forced to resign under pressure, and that her downfall had something to do with an "improper" — as in sexual — relationship with a former player.Chatman and Berry played together as undergraduates at LSU, had been on the coaching staff together for the past six years, and were said to be very close friends—Chatman is even said to have sought advice from Berry as late as the day after her resignation.
When Gunter stepped down in 2003 due to acute emphysema, Chatman was named acting head coach and took the Lady Tigers to the Final Four round of the 2004 NCAA tournament.
Initially Chatman planned to coach her team in the NCAA tournament, but the ensuing controversy quickly exploded out of control, and she issued a second statement last Thursday announcing that her departure would be immediate: "My resignation yesterday has prompted speculation and rumors that far exceeded my expectations and it is clear that my presence would be a great distraction during the NCAA Tournament." Chatman was a highly respected — and apparently popular — coach at LSU.
A former LSU star player, she became an assistant to the legendary and beloved Sue Gunter in 1994.
By Friday, Chatman all but disappeared and has since had no communication with the media.
Initially LSU denied knowledge of any formal investigation and claimed that her resignation was her “preference.” Athletic director Skip Bertman said, “The girl [referring to 37-year-old Chatman] did what she did, and LSU had no control over that.” The university still maintains it isn’t aware of any lawsuit being brought against itself or Chatman.