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UConn's Geno Auriemma said the "majority of coaches in America are afraid of their players" who might transfer or report their coaches for verbal abuse. 

By Charlotte Carroll
April 03, 2019

UConn women's basketball head coach Geno Auriemma said the "majority of coaches in America are afraid of their players" who might transfer or report their coaches for verbal abuse. 

"The majority of coaches in America are afraid of their players," Auriemma said on a teleconference Tuesday ahead of the Women's Final Four. "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."

Georgia Tech women's basketball coach MaChelle Joseph was fired on March 26 after an investigation into the program found players said Joseph was mentally, emotionally and verbally abusive. Then Monday, North Carolina coach Sylvia Hatchell and three assistants were placed on administrative leave amid player concerns. The school hired a law firm to conduct a review and "asses the culture" of the program.

Oregon’s Kelly Graves, Baylor’s Kim Mulkey and Notre Dame’s Muffet McGraw — the other Final Four coaches on the call agreed — coaches have to be more aware on how they communicate with their players.

Auriemma will make his 20th appearance at the Women's Final Four when No. 2 UConn takes on No. 1 Notre Dame on Friday.

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