UConn is “bad for women’s basketball.” Geno Auriemma is a “bully.” It reads like an angry second grader wrote it. But, here we are… Again.
A number of articles have been published recently claiming Connecticut is the problem with women’s basketball. One article went so far to say that the Huskies head coach Geno Auriemma is a “bully” because of the beatdown UConn handed to St. Francis (PA).
But, that could not be further from the truth.
UConn is a dynasty. It’s the perfect example of what can happen when an administration invests in its women’s basketball program.
If anything, the Huskies have inspired other schools to invest in their own women’s basketball program. Tennessee has long been a powerhouse. But, now we see South Carolina, Mississippi State, Louisville, Notre Dame, Stanford, Baylor, and a number of other programs. The perennial powerhouses, if you will.
The Huskies have dominated women’s hoops for the last two decades. And they have no plans to slow down.
Under Auriemma, UConn has earned 11 National Championships, 18 Final Fours, 24 Elite Eights, 26 Sweet Sixteens and 30 NCAA Tournament appearances. That’s impressive.
But, instead of respecting Coach Auriemma and the Huskies, so-called “journalists” tear down the program because it’s the easy narrative. A false narrative, but easy.
Do we complain when Alabama wins championships every other year in football?? Did we call John R. Wooden’s UCLA teams that won 11 National Championships “bad for men’s basketball??”
So why does UConn and Coach Auriemma get so much hate??
After the Louisville Cardinals clinched its Final Four berth, I asked head coach Jeff Walz about his thoughts on UConn being “bad for women’s basketball.”
His response was 100% spot on.
Oh, no, it’s not bad for women’s basketball. I guess when Alabama beats somebody 66 and 3 it’s bad for college football. You know, God forbid if they go beat somebody 70-21, should they quit football because Alabama is dominating people? I look at it more as if you can’t be impressed and admire what they do year in and year out, shame on you. If you want to sit there and write an article saying it’s bad for basketball, maybe you’re bad for what you do, I mean, because God forbid, if you can’t appreciate greatness, then shame on you. I mean, maybe the people that write these articles suck at their job, so they want to try to crack on somebody else. That’s my two cents.
I mean, damn, like do you know how hard it is — we’re sitting there, and Steph Norman and I have been here for 11 years, and we’re going to our third Final Four in 11 seasons, and I’m telling you, this is the damn hardest s— I’ve ever been through. I sat there and told Steph before the game started, imagine, UConn every year for like 15 years, I think they’ve been — whatever it’s been in a row, their season doesn’t end until April the 3rd, April the 4th, just about every year. Like it’s exhausting. I mean, it’s — I told a friend that when we’re finished, when it’s all finished, I hope it’s not until next Sunday, that my goal is to sit in bed for about four days and watch reruns of Law and Order SVU. I mean, I’m physically exhausted, because the amount of preparation you put into all of this. It’s not you just show up for the game and roll the ball out and go. So what Geno has done I think is amazing. I don’t think it’s bad for anything. I watch it. I watch them play and admire it. Our goal is to hopefully get there at one point in time. That’s what everybody is trying to do.
So yeah, so whoever writes that needs to look at themselves and see if they suck at their job, because I think they do. Sorry about that.
Saying UConn is bad for women’s basketball is a lazy narrative. It’s one that is born out of lack of knowledge.
Every time I read one of the lazy articles, it’s clear that the writer has never covered Women’s Basketball, has never attended a game and seen the passionate fans. The writers only see UConn winning.
Is Coach Auriemma supposed to tell his players to slow down and let the other team score at will so the game is more even??
Women’s basketball is the best. There’s nothing better. The fans are intense and passionate. The atmosphere is more relaxed. The coaches are more personable. The players interact with the fans. These women become a part of our family. They are with us for four years. We grow with them. We celebrate their accomplishments. We sympathize with them when things are tough. We cheer loud. We celebrate every three pointer. We truly love our players.
My advice to any “journalist” who wants to make the argument that UConn is bad for women’s hoops… Quit.
Thank you, coach, for being honest and open about a topic that is so mind boggling.
Check out his comments starting at 17:10: Louisville Post Game Press Conference