Geno Auriemma: Men’s basketball ‘is a joke’

April 1, 2015 / Basketball
UConn women’s basketball coach Geno Auriemma was asked today to give his thoughts on men’s game, and he didn’t mince words.

UConn women's basketball coach Geno Auriemma
UConn women’s basketball coach Geno Auriemma.

Here is what he had to say, as reported by Sports Illustrated:

“… I think the game is a joke. It really is. I don’t coach it. I don’t play it, so I don’t understand all the ins and outs of it. But as a spectator, forget that I’m a coach, as a spectator, watching it, it’s a joke. There’s only like 10 teams, you know, out of 25, that actually play the kind of game of basketball that you’d like to watch.  Every coach will tell you that there’s 90 million reasons for it.”

“The bottom line is that nobody can score, and they’ll tell you it’s because of great defense, great scouting, a lot of team work. Nonsense, nonsense. College men’s basketball is so far behind the times, it’s unbelievable. I mean women’s basketball is behind the times. Men’s basketball is even further behind the times. Every other major sport in the world has taken steps to help people be better on the offensive end of the floor. They’ve moved in the fences in baseball, they lowered the mound. They made the strike zone so you need a straw to put through it. And in the NFL you touch a guy it’s a penalty. You hit the quarterback, you’re out for life. You know, in the NBA, you touch somebody in the perimeter, you whack guys like they used to do when scores were 90 to 75, they changed the rules.

“This is entertainment we’re talking about. People have to decide, do I want to pay 25 bucks, 30 bucks to go see a college scrum where everybody misses six out of every 10 shots they take, or do I want to go to a movie?  We’re fighting for the entertainment dollar, here, and I have to tell you it’s not entertainment from a fan’s standpoint. That’s just, I’m talking as a fan, not as Geno Auriemma, the basketball coach.”

Auriemma and his Huskies (36-1) face Maryland on Sunday in the women’s Final Four in Tampa. The winner will play either South Carolina or Notre Dame in the championship.

2 thoughts on “Geno Auriemma: Men’s basketball ‘is a joke’”

  1. Apparently Coach Auriemma is more suited to coach at the professional level where entertainment is the main objective. He seems to have lost sight of what the NCAA has to say on the purpose of college athletics. Nowhere in the NCAA mission statement or core values is “high entertainment” listed. Athletics at the college/university level is still tied to the educational mission of the schools that sponsor teams. From the NCAA website “The National Collegiate Athletic Association is a membership-driven organization (includes UConn) dedicated to safeguarding the well-being of student-athletes and equipping them with the skills to succeed on the playing field, in the classroom and throughout life. We (NCAA) support learning through sports by integrating athletics and higher education to enrich the college experience of student-athletes. NCAA members – mostly colleges and universities, but also conferences and affiliated groups – work together to create the framework of rules for fair and safe competition.” If the fans don’t like it, then maybe they should go to the movies as Coach suggests. I think on principle, I’ll head to the movies anytime Coach and the Lady Huskiesare on TV.

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