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A blog on UConn women's basketball.

Wednesday, September 03, 2014

No good deed goes unpunished, UConn style

Geno Auriemma met with reporters to talk about the upcoming U.S. national team training camp and during the interview he was asked to reflect on his brief congratulatory call to Little League phenom Mo'Ne Davis. Apparently people were paying attention resulting in a response that still shocks Auriemma.

"One of the funniest things I have ever heard. I will probably get in trouble for saying this but somebody from the Sixers called and contacted some friends I know and said this kid is great, this kid loves basketball and I think congratulations from Coach Auriemma would really go a long way to helping this kid," Auriemma said. "I go and get contacted by some people with Little League World Series and say is it OK if she calls you. I said 'how about I just call and you tell her I said congratulations.' I call the office and (they said) 'you know Coach, she is standing right here.' I said 'put her on the phone, I want to say congratulations.' I say congratulations. She is 13 and the conversation lasts about two minutes and she hangs up. How about a school turned us in as a recruiting violation because we are not allowed to talk to her until July 1 of her junior year (of high school) but that is the world that we live in.

"It shows you what is wrong not only for things that go on but also with some of the people that I coach against."

Here's what Auriemma said about his brief conversation with Davis, who for the record, he has never seen play basketball.

"The thing that struck me about her is that it was something that is not normal. You could send that this is a lot for me and I am tying to do the best that I can to handle it and sometimes it is great to naive and not know what is going on but there comes a point in time when you look around and there are 37,000 people and 400 media credentialed and I am used to playing in front of friends and family so the scrutiny she was put under that the media generated and the fan interest that was generated was just not normal and I thought she handled it unbelievable. I said don't let them make a big deal out of the fact that you are a girl because for two hours a day you are a baseball player so make sure they treat you like a baseball player and not like 'look at this girl playing baseball. They didn't pick you because you are a girl, they picked you because you are a really good baseball player and it would be really nice if you got a couple of hits.'"

Since Davis is going into eighth grade, she is not considered a prospective student athlete so UConn said there was no recruiting violation committed by Auriemma.

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