Geno Auriemma unleashes rant on Lady Vols after Evina Westbrook's denied appeal
No. 4 UConn women’s basketball knocked off Vanderbilt, 64-51, this week, but following the game, Huskies coach Geno Auriemma seemed to have the other SEC school in the state on his mind — Tennessee.
During his postgame press conference, Auriemma ripped into the Lady Volunteers for a “not necessarily healthy” environment. The source of his disdain stems from transfer Evina Westbrook receiving a denial on her eligibility from the NCAA.
Westbrook transferred to UConn this past offseason after two years at Tennessee.
“Well think about this. A kid is in an environment that’s not necessarily healthy,” Auriemma said according to 247Sports. “An environment that, if you knew what the environment was, which I can’t say, you would not want your kid in that environment. And the athletic director there (Philip Fulmer) knows it, OK, but he’s not going to support her leaving, which would’ve helped us a little bit. And now her reward is she has to sit at home, even when we travel, and can’t play. So she should’ve stuck it out, right?”
Auriemma also took issue with the NCAA, calling the organization out for what is also a problem in football right now — inconsistent waivers.
“Well, I would like to know why some people do get cleared, or get waivers, and why others don’t. I don’t know what the criteria is. They say, well, you have to have these five buckets or whatever the hell they call them. I don’t get it. Iv’e said this 100 times. We’ve had kids leave our program and I have never failed to support that kid’s decision to leave. And they still get denied sometimes. So I have no idea anymore. And you know what, who does it punish? Who does it punish? It doesn’t punish Tennessee. That kid is not going to be there anyway. The only person it punishes when this happens is the kid that’s trying to get themselves in a better environment.”
Auriemma concluded his rant by stressing that in most cases with players transferring into his program, they’ve had to sit out a year, and understandably so. But Auriemma called Westbrook a “special situation” and said UConn asking for an appeal “has nothing to do with it” potentially making the team better.