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Geno Auriemma: Coaches today are ‘afraid’ of their players

April 4, 2019 / BasketballCoaching
UConn women’s basketball coach Geno Auriemma believes that the sensitivity of today’s athletes has made coaches fearful of how they manage the team.

UConn women’s basketball coach Geno Auriemma

Auriemma, who tomorrow will coach in the Final Four for the 20th time, took the opportunity Tuesday to chime in on the coach-athlete dynamic in today’s sports culture. This comes just a week after Tom Izzo’s sideline interaction with Aaron Henry sparked a national discussion about how coaches talk to their players.

  » ALSO SEE: Auriemma: If your body language is bad, you’ll never get in the game

Here is part of what Auriemma had to say:

“The majority of coaches in America are afraid of their players. 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.’

“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.”

“People gave Tom Izzo a lot of grief for something he did on the sideline. 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’s Huskies are chasing their 12th national title. To get there, they first have to go through defending champion Notre Dame on Friday.

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