Dawn Staley, Carla McGhee try intramurals to ease the tension

Dawn Staley didn’t let bad knees get her down during her playing career, and she’s not letting a disappointing first season as South Carolina’s head coach get to her either. She and assistant coach Carla McGhee have joined an intramural team which played its first game Monday night. Of course, Staley still has some of the old razzle-dazzle left. And she is still in charge:

McGhee, who played with Staley on the 1996 Olympic team in Atlanta, said Staley remains the consummate floor general, even in an intramural game.

“She’s going to handle the show,” said McGhee, who had a 13-year pro career. “It’s fun until you mess up one of her passes because you missed the layup. You’re cut off.”

Midway through the first half, nearly all of USC’s players had filed into the gym to see if their coaches could still play. They howled when Staley was short on a free throw, and they had their camera phones ready when she came to the sideline during a timeout.

“Paparazzi, get them out of here!” Staley shouted.