UConn women's basketball head coach Geno Auriemma is known as much for his team's dominant success as his boisterous personality. Never afraid to speak his mind, the legendary college coach and Olympic gold medalist has come out against a scourge he believes has no place on his team: Halloween.
The seven-time NCAA champion was reacting to an incident last week involving senior guard Caroline Doty, who was one of three people issued citations by campus police for causing a public disturbance in a dorm. According to the Philadelphia Inquirer, dorm residents called the police after midnight complaining about noise in the hallway and excessive banging on doors.
Doty, who was dressed as Lady Gaga, was written up around 2:15 a.m. on Nov. 1 and sat out an exhibition game on Friday. Auriemma insisted that the decision to sit her was not a punishment for the incident, but rather a cautionary move after Doty tweaked her knee in practice.
"There will be issues with [Doty’s health] all year long," Auriemma told the Hartford Courant after Friday's game. "[G]iven her history, there are just enough times that make you say, ‘Uh-oh.’ And when those times come, you just walk away from it and let it get better."
It would be understandable for Auriemma to be protective of his player. As ESPN notes, Doty has torn the ACL in her left knee three times over the course of her career, most recently during the summer before the 2010-11 season.
Whether he rested Doty for health reasons or not, Auriemma did take the chance to mock her observance of the holiday in general.
"Halloween is for an 8-year-old," Auriemma said at Tuesday's practice, according to the Hartford Courant. "The decision that a 23-year-old makes to go trick-or-treating is dumb. And invariably, the stuff they are going to do is dumber. So that's what I think about Caroline."
Given the debauchery Halloween seems to breed in college campuses across the nation, the reaction to the incident by both the coach and the media has caused some to question whether Doty is being held to a different standard simply because she's an athlete.
Auriemma addressed this Wednesday, affirming the presence of a double standard while casting it as the price one pays for choosing the path of the scholar-athlete.
"Unfortunately, they're held to a higher standard," Auriemma told The Day's Mike DiMauro. "What comes with a scholarship? For the next four years you can never be caught doing anything any other kid would do on a Friday night. ... It's not a bad way to go through life early on."