Connecticut coach Geno Auriemma's exchange with a Syracuse player after a game last week has caught the attention of Big East commissioner Mike Tranghese.
Auriemma had words with Syracuse's Nicole Michael in the
handshake line after the Huskies' 107-53 victory Saturday, and was
pulled away from the junior forward by assistant coach Shea Ralph.
When Auriemma went back through the line to leave the court,
Michael appeared to step in his direction, and he tripped over her
foot. He was then led away by his players.
Big East director of communications Rachel Margolis said
Tranghese reached out to both schools' athletic directors and will
speak to them again later this week.
"We believe that talking about this issue through the media
will not benefit either university," Syracuse coach Quentin
Hillsman said in a statement Monday. "Our student-athletes,
coaches and staff believe in the importance of sportsmanship and
will continue to conduct themselves with the highest regard for our
Auriemma also received a technical foul with just over 6 minutes
left and his team up 56 points for screaming about Syracuse's
Auriemma played it down later.
"I think I stepped on someone's foot, stumbled or something,"
he said with a smile after UConn's victory. "I wish I could tell
you there was more to it. Kids do funny things when they lose. They
were (mad) they lost by 50. They didn't want to have any part of
shaking hands. None. Zero ... I hope my players don't do that."
Top-ranked UConn played No. 2 North Carolina on Monday night.