Geno Auriemma gets personal

UConn Coach Geno Auriemma took shots at one of his players, and at Tennessee Coach Pat Summitt, in a post-game press conference tonight.

Here’s the Stefanie Dolson insult:

“I just thought Samarie’s been working at a real high level in practice,’’ he said. “I thought defensively she’d be a little better able to help us because most of their big guys are perimeter guys or want to play on the perimeter. So I thought Samarie would be better defensively to do that. And Stefanie played (15) minutes against Howard. So we don’t want to wear her out. Those two rebounds took a lot out of her. So we want to save her for the stretch run here. She came to practice today and she was really beaten up, and I didn’t realize the toll it was taking so I wanted to give her a rest.’’

Here’s the Summitt insult:

Auriemma certainly saved his best jab for last. This one was aimed directly at Summitt. Earlier this season, she again accused Auriemma of cheating in recruiting.
And after the Lady Vols defeated Louisville 63-50 in the season opener on the road Nov. 12 Summitt said she would not mind again playing Louisville in the future because Cardinals coach Jeff Walz does things the right way.
Fast-forwarding to tonight at Gampel Pavilion, LSU coach Van Chancellor said he would like to again open a series with UConn. Auriemma was asked about a potential series with the Lady Tigers and ran with it.

“We’re not playing any SEC schools this year except them,’’ Auriemma said. “So, yeah, I could see us getting that series back with Van. He does things the right way. So I wouldn’t be opposed to playing Van going forward.’’

Pat and Geno have smack-talked each other before, so that’s nothing new. But should Auriemma take shots at one of his own players? Was what he said taking it too far? Should such conversations be reserved for the locker room, or should players be put on blast? Was sarcasm appropriate in this case?

I’m wondering what you think.

10 COMMENTS

  1. He does that all the time to motivate his players. If I recall correctly, this was most of his relationship with Tina Charles. The ones who object, leave. It's not how I'd do things, but it appears to be working for him.

  2. Appropriate? No. Appalling.

    Consider the origins of "sarcasm." 1579, from L.L. sarcasmos, from Gk. sarkasmos "a sneer, jest, taunt, mockery," from sarkazein "to speak bitterly, sneer," lit. "to strip off the flesh," from sarx (gen. sarkos ) "flesh," prop. "piece of meat," from PIE base *twerk- "to cut" (cf. Avestan thwares "to cut"). Source: Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

  3. I've been at Geno's press conferences before, and have heard him talk (and talk and talk and talk and talk…..the man loves to talk), so I guess it's not surprising to know he uses this technique to "motivate." But he should never ever consider teaching as a profession, because in getting a teaching credential you're told over and over by professors and administrators to NEVER use sarcasm with young people. It's not an appropriate way to make a point, and it's no different with college-aged students.

  4. non-issue. geno has always been sarcastic and his players have never been exempt. if you don't give 100% every practice, every game, you put yourself at risk to be called out.

    as for the pat-geno show, pat needs to just get over the fact that maya wanted to go to uconn and move the hell on. maya's going to be graduating this year, how much longer is pat going to obsess over it? she already took her ball and went home when she called off the ut and uconn games.

    scullyfu

  5. if coaching isn't teaching, then how are his players learning the game? i think its safe to say that coaching creates a closer relationship between student and teacher than most other types of teaching, just by virtue of the time spent together in highly stressful/emotional situations. the coach/teacher knows his/her players on many different levels and should know how to motivate each one.

    scullyfu

  6. I don't believe we know what motivational tactics Auriemma uses for all his players. We see what he puts out in the public. There have been far worse public examples, such as Charde Houston. However, Houston says that her time at UConn were the greatest learning experiences of her basketball life, so who knows.

    On the other hand, Pat Summitt dragged him into a conversation that had nothing to do with him. It was about Pearl and to try and make the connection was very unprofessional.

    I'm really not a fan of either UConn or Tennessee and I can honestly say I'm tired of hearing about both of them. Let their teams speak for themselves. The UConn win streak might not have been bad for basketball for this "feud" sure is.

  7. Have you read some of the comments that Pat has said about Angie Bjorkland. They're very similar to what Geno has said about his players.

    I think you're wearing your orange tinted glasses.

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