Luigi "Geno" Auriemma, more often known as "Geno" has been the head coach of the UConn women's basketball team for 35 years. He has led the Huskies to 11 NCAA National Championships, several at the expense of my beloved team, the Fighting Irish of Notre Dame. Furthermore, it is no secret that Muffet McGraw, the head coach of the Irish women's team has no lost love for Geno. In case this was remotely unclear, read what Sally Jenkins of the Washington Post wrote in the article Muffet McGraw, Geno Auriemma: "These Two Plain Don't Like Each Other." I am team Muffet. With two NCAA National Championships to her name, she was the coach when I was a student and continues to march onward to victory, with over 900 wins to her name.
|This photo is a lie.|
He declared “We put a huge premium on body language, and if your body language is bad, you will never get in the game. EVER,” he said. “I don't care how good you are.”
I shared this video clip with my students in the context of a conversation on the importance of body language. I wasn't sure how they would respond. The first thing I heard from a student was "I love it." I wanted to hug that kid that very moment.
When asked about it following UConn’s 79-38 win over South Florida on Sunday, Auriemma ripped into the new policy.
“The conference has a policy that you can’t shake hands after games. Well, we did today anyway,” said Auriemma, whose team advanced to the American Conference Tournament championship against Cincinnati with the win. “Our men played Houston the other day. They sweated on each other for two hours and then they weren’t allowed to shake hands.
“Our assistant, Sarah, her son is a wrestler,” he added. “They wrestled for I don’t know how long on this dirty mat and they go, ‘no shaking hands.’ I mean, come on … Don’t get me started.”The Coronavirus has led to confusion and mild pandemonium. Clearly we are roaming amidst uncharted territory. What seems most important right now is prudence. Known as the queen of all virtues, prudence is not cautious calculation but practical wisdom -- recognizing and making the right choice in specific situations. No time like the present.
However, nearly a week has passed since Geno's comment. We know the COVID-19 has presented a much different reality. At this point, most games have been cancelled. There will be no need to shake hands following an athletic contest for we will table those until further notice.
Finally, for a non-pissed off Geno, watch his tribute to Kobe and Gianna Bryant from the Staples Center. My very favorite part of his speech is when he goes off script and recalls the time Gigi met the University of Oregon women's team. He took notice of her reaction when asked if she wanted her photo taken with them. I have a feeling he would have said the same.
Muffet and Geno