UConn Geno Auriemma says women’s basketball team disliked for gender

December 20, 2010


— After victory No. 88 in a row was in the books, Geno Auriemma finally let loose: He thinks some people are rooting against his record-setting players because of their gender.

“I just know there wouldn’t be this many people in the room if we were chasing a woman’s record,” the Connecticut coach said Sunday near the end of his postgame news conference. “The reason everybody is having a heart attack the last four or five days is a bunch of women are threatening to break a men’s record, and everybody is all up in arms about it.”

Already with no equal in women’s basketball, UConn won its 88th straight game Sunday to match the men’s mark set by coach John Wooden and his UCLA teams from 1971-74. Tiffany Hayes scored 26 points, and Maya Moore added 22 to help the top-ranked Huskies rout No. 11 Ohio State, 81-50, in the Maggie Dixon Classic at Madison Square Garden.

“All the women are happy as hell, and they can’t wait to come in here and ask questions. All the guys that loved women’s basketball are all excited, and all the miserable (people) that follow men’s basketball and don’t want us to break the record are all here because they are (ticked),” Auriemma said.

The no-nonsense Auriemma downplayed the significance of the streak as his team closed in on UCLA, promising that once the run was over he would open up.

But the Hall of Fame coach, known to rub folks the wrong way at times, never has been afraid to say what’s on his mind.

“Because we’re breaking a men’s record, we’ve got a lot of people paying attention,” Auriemma said. “If we were breaking a women’s record, everybody would go, ‘Aren’t those girls nice, let’s give them two paragraphs in USA Today, you know, give them one line on the bottom of ESPN and then let’s send them back where they belong, in the kitchen.”

UConn already owned the longest winning streak in NCAA women’s basketball history. Next up, the Huskies (10-0) can surpass the UCLA men Tuesday night at home against No. 15 Florida State.


kujayhawk 7 years, 2 months ago

Not the same sport Geno. Congrats, though, impressive streak.

mom_of_three 7 years, 2 months ago

Not the same sport? Do they not dribble and shoot a basketball?
It is the same sport, but men dunk and women usually don't.
UConn has Maya Moore, who is probably one of the best players EVER. She made a move last night leaving her defender standing....

Division I is tough, whether men or women's and John Wooden's grandson said Wooden said the best basketball in the past 10 years has been played by women.

But you know, we don't hear about women's teams being on probation for recruiting violations, although it probably does occur, and we don't hear about women getting kicked off teams, although surely it happens. But the country has been programmed to care more about men's sports than women's.

emceelean 7 years, 2 months ago

I agree. Regardless of their gender, Division 1 basketball guarantees premiere competition. Furthermore, given that women do not leave early for the WNBA, I think there's a certain consistency in major programs that makes UCOnn's run even more impressive.

Kent Richardson 7 years, 2 months ago

A women's basketball team cannot break a men's streak. UConn has already established itself as a women's record setting school. Nice work. Women's major sports are not as popular as men's. Gino is too close to the action to understand this. His take is similar to the people who listen to talk radio opinion spinning shows. The more you listen to only one side of things the more you tend to believe it as fact and let it affect your view.

rgh 7 years, 2 months ago

Geno hasn't figured out that most of the dislike deals with his attitude and arrogance and not his team. This is a great streak but he has badmouthed other great coaches in the past couple of years as well as other great programs. John Wooden handled himself with absolute class unlike Geno.

Flap Doodle 7 years, 2 months ago

Geno needs to calm down and get back to doing pizza rolls.

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