Geno Auriemma Is Not Afraid Of White KidsS

When someone starts off a press conference answer with, "I know I'm going to get criticized for this," you know the rest of the answer is going to be something really super.

Here's how ultra-likeable Connecticut women's basketball coach Geno Auriemma injects some life into his pre-game preparation.

"I know this is going to get played out the wrong way," said Auriemma, "But I'm going to say it anyway. And I know I'm going to get criticized for this. White kids are always looked upon as being soft. So Stanford's got a tremendous amount of really good players who for whatever reason, because they don't look like Tina Charles or Maya Moore, the perception out there is going to be, well, they must be soft.

"Well, I think that's a bunch of bull. I watched them play and nobody goes harder to the boards. Nobody takes more charges. Nobody runs the floor as hard. Those kids are as tough as any of the kids in the country. But people on the sports world like to make judgments on people by how they look. And it's grossly unfair."

First of all ... who says that? The best white kids are always described as "tough" and "gutsy" instead of "silky smooth" or "graceful" or even "athletic." Secondly ... yes, people do make judgments based on looks, but you're the one who brought up race. Did anyone even call Stanford soft besides Geno Auriemma? Finally, why bring something up if you know you're going to get criticized for it? (Which no one has, by the way. This story has barely registered on the news wires.) Is it to give people like me a reason to write about a tournament that's gone completely ignored because your team is so good the sport is not even fun anymore? Well, you win this round, Geno! Your reverse mind games will definitely work on me.

Oh, did I mention the women's Final Four is tonight? UConn-Stanford and Oklahoma-Louisville. The Huskies will win both their games by 30, so don't even bother.

Auriemma Says Perceptions of Stanford Based on Race [NY Times]
Auriemma Video [ESPN]
Jayne Appel, Former UConn Recruit, Now Stands in Huskies' Path [NY Times]