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Just what the hell is Vanderbilt doing with its women’s basketball program?

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Talk about taking a sport off.

NCAA Womens Basketball: Tennessee at Vanderbilt Jim Brown-USA TODAY Sports

Over the past few years, I’ve mostly ignored Vanderbilt’s women’s basketball program, not because I don’t like women’s basketball or because I don’t think you should care about it, but because the whole program has kind of become a horror show with no apparent end in sight. In Stephanie White’s five seasons, the records have been 14-16, 7-24, 7-23, 14-16, and 4-4, with the most recent season ending after eight games because (reading the subtext) the team just quit the season and blamed it on COVID, when the reality is probably summed up more by this news that dropped yesterday:

Yep. The women’s basketball team really just lost its best player, which has been the other fact of life of the program under Stephanie White, who has a 13-52 record in SEC games, also known as a winning percentage of 20 percent. And it’s not getting better and, based on the decision of the team’s best player to transfer, it’s not going to get better. Player defections have been a massive, ongoing problem over the last few years, and it’s often left the team playing extremely shorthanded — rather inexcusable for a program that gets 15 scholarships and has five players on the floor at a given time.

And every year, we just get the news that Stephanie White is being retained, with no explanation or any real justification, and it’s easy to believe that Vanderbilt just doesn’t care about this specific program — except that Athletic Director Candice Storey Lee played for the Vanderbilt women’s basketball team and surely cares deeply about the program, so no, that doesn’t make any damn sense.

Look, we try to care about all the Vanderbilt sports teams and we try to convince all of our readers to do the same (and, hey, the SEC Network is producing an SEC Storied about the Vanderbilt women’s bowling team and you had better believe that we will have a live thread when it drops on the 12th), but it’s ridiculous for us to care about a program that the university appears not to. How else do you look at this situation and conclude literally anything else?