Connecticut’s Geno Auriemma says majority of coaches are ‘afraid of their players’

first_imgConnecticut women’s basketball coach Geno Auriemma is used to playing in March. The long-time Huskies coach will make his 20th appearance at the Women’s Final Four on Friday.But, there’s something Auriemma is still getting used to and that’s the changing climate within the NCAA. When speaking to reporters Tuesday, Auriemma said there are many coaches that are now “afraid” of upsetting players, who could transfer and/or report the coach for verbal abuse.”The majority of coaches in America are afraid of their players,” Auriemma said. “The NCAA, the athletic directors and society has made them afraid of their players. Every article you read: ‘This guy’s a bully. This woman’s a bully. This guy went over the line. This woman was inappropriate.’​ Related News “Yet the players get off scot-free in everything. They can do whatever they want. They don’t like something you say to them, they transfer. Coaches, they have to coach with one hand behind their back. Why? Because some people have abused the role of a coach.”​The other Final Four coaches — Notre Dame’s Muffet McGraw, Baylor’s Kim Mulkey and Oregon’s Kelly Graves — also agreed that coaches now need to be aware of their tone toward players.But Auriemma, perhaps the most outspoken on the matter, said the “line” can be hard to determine and used Michigan State men’s coach Tom Izzo as an example.Izzo had a heated interaction with a player in Round 1 of the NCAA Men’s Tournament. He was seen screaming at Aaron Henry when players were walking to the sidelines during a timeout and moments later, Izzo got in Henry’s face again as players stepped in to separate the two.​”People gave Tom Izzo a lot of grief for something he did on the sideline,” Auriemma said. “His players loved that. He doesn’t have to care what you think of it. He just has to care what his players think of it. If his players all transferred, if his players all quit on him, then he went over the line. If his players play really hard for him, they keep winning, they love him, they keep coming back to the program, then that’s passion.”Auriemma added: “Everybody’s got to coach to their personality. It’s harder today than it’s ever been to motivate players. I mean, I get we have to keep an eye on things. We don’t want people to abuse the system. I get that. I’m all in favor of that. UNC puts entire women’s basketball coaching staff on leave during investigation “I just find it a little bit disconcerting that more and more coaches are being told, ‘This is inappropriate; you’re not acting the right way.’ What is the right way, and who is going to decide what the right way is? I don’t know what the answer to that is.”The No. 2 Huskies will face the defending champion top-seeded Fighting Irish at 9 p.m. ET on Friday. No. 2 Oregon and No. 1 Baylor will play before at 7 p.m. ET.last_img

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