Geno Auriemma has never be mistaken for meek. In fact, he's probably one of the most demonstrative coaches in women's basketball. But he also knows what he's doing beyond the Xs and Os; Auriemma has a keen understanding of the psychology of coaching, which goes a long way in explaining the seven national championships.
But more than anything, Auriemma is outspoken, and while his method of delivery may sometimes be a little rough around the edges, the message is usually on point. That's certainly the case when Auriemma unloaded on just-fired Rutgers men's basketball coach Mike Rice, who it was recently discovered made a habit of verbally and physically abusing his players during practice, including throwing basketballs at their heads and kicking them, all while hurling obscenities in their general direction.
“I know each coach has their own line that they think is the acceptable line,’’ Auriemma said Wednesday via the Hartford Courant. “And that maybe varies by how a coach perceives how they need to coach to get their team to be successful.
“And maybe some coaches are on that line. Some coaches try to stay below that line. I can’t speak for others, for sure. And, believe me, I’ve acted like an idiot at practice more times than I can ever, ever recount. But some of the stuff that I saw …
“I’ve got a friend whose son is on that staff so, obviously, it’s difficult for me thinking about it. But if what I saw is accurate, and I would assume it is, there is no line that could be drawn that would make that behavior acceptable. I don’t know where you would draw the line that you could say, `Well, we were on the line or below the line.’
“From what I’ve seen, that behavior is the kind of behavior that … My son played college basketball. I would not want any of my kids or anybody to be put in that situation. Ever.’’