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Women's basketball coach provides a precedent every football coach should remember
Coaches tempted to publicly criticize officials after a game should always think twice. Then they should probably think again.
Stories of heated coaches railing against the treatment their teams received from the men in stripes rarely, if ever, end positively for the coach. But now a women's basketball coach has unwittingly provided NCAA precedent that football coaches across every level should remember the next time a they come out on the wrong end of a key penalty.
Following a loss to Louisville in the NCAA Tournament, Baylor women's basketball coach Kim Mulkey confronted the officials on the court, then led off her post-game press conference by saying, "I'll be glad to answer any referee question you want to ask me, because I don't mind getting fined, so ask me. Now is the time to ask me, okay?"
"I thought the game started out way too physical, way too physical. I thought that all three of them, if they go past this round of officiating, it will be sad for the game.
"I thought the two critical calls at the end of the game were really bad. Jordan Madden drives in the paint. We already have the missed shot. She calls an offensive foul on Madden right there. Well, why so late? Odyssey Sims had the rebound in her hand. Then I don't know about that at the end. It was on the opposite end. I'd have to go see it. You saw it. What did y'all think? Was it a foul? Did anybody here think it was a foul? Honestly, tell me."
You didn't have to watch the game to know Mulkey was long jumping past the line of what the NCAA deems appropriate conduct in a press conference. In response, the NCAA announced Tuesday it was suspending Mulkey from her next NCAA tournament again.
Not her next game. Her next NCAA Tournament game.
"The committee unanimously felt that the behavior of Coach Mulkey was unacceptable and has no place in the women's basketball championship," committee chair Carolayne Henry said in the NCAA's release.
Now, it's worth noting that this is not Mulkey's first incident with the NCAA on this issue. She received a reprimend from the NCAA for comments about officials as recently as 2011.
But as litigious and precedent-laden as the NCAA has become, Mulkey's case becomes yet another reminder for football coaches to swallow their emotions and bite their tongues when a late-game pass interference call goes the other guy's way.