Pittsburgh coach Kevin Stallings reportedly taunted Louisville fans multiple times during his team's 77-51 loss on Tuesday night.
Stallings turned around twice and yelled to the Louisvile fans: "At least we didn't pay our kids $100,000," according to multiple reporters who were in attendance.
Stallings is ostensibly referring to the case of Brian Bowen, whom Louisville is accused of paying $100,000 to secure his commttment to the university. The accusation was made by the F.B.I. after its multi-year investigation into college basketball that uncovered widespread wire fraud, bribery and corruption across the sport. The scandal led to the firing of coach Rick Pitino as well as athletic director Tom Jurich.
"Somebody said something bad about my players," Stallings said when asked about the comments after the game. "And so I'm just going to stick up for my players. Probably said the wrong thing, but I'm not going to let people talk crap about my players. I probably should have used some different words, but the game is over and I'm always going to protect my players."
Stallings may not be wrong—Pittsburgh hasn't been accused of bribing players, yet. But yelling that Louisville's fans is, without question, classless. And his explanation of why he did it is similarly terrible. Is he suggesting that he feels responsible to always defend his players against insults from opposing teams fans? If so, he's going to be so busy yelling at fans that he won't have any time to coach his team.
Opposing fans are going to yell at your players. It's what they do. It's your job as the head coach to ignore that, or at the very least to not respond with lazy insults.