There will be a lot of immediate speculation by people about which side they believe. These situations can be precarious for journalists, frankly. There are times when we can prudently state opinions. But there are other times when we need to let the system take its course as we try to sort out what happened.
I can say in nearly two decades of working as a journalist with Auriemma, he has never been anything but professional. In fairness, I do not interact with him in any other capacity. No one has ever told me, on or off the record, about him mistreating them in any way.
By the same token, I have not ever spoken with Hardwick. Her allegations are very real, serious issues that women in the workforce still face in our society. Whether her case in particular actually has merit, though, must be adjudicated.
Rich Elliot of the Connecticut Post: Ex-players Culmo, Lobo rise to Geno’s defense
“Coaching and beyond, I’ve shared many cocktails with the guy and sitting around in bars all over the country just chatting,” Culmo said. “And it’s always just social, hanging out, talking to people, telling stories. And that’s what it is. I’ve never seen anything inappropriate.’
“Obviously, I don’t have any idea what did or didn’t happen,” said former UConn All-American Rebecca Lobo, who has known Auriemma for more than 20 years. “But I’ve only ever known him to be someone of utmost character. And I think the world of him. He’s always been of the highest character in every dealing that I’ve ever had with him or any dealing I’ve ever witnessed him having with somebody else.”
From John Altavilla at the Hartford Courant: Hardwick Dependable and Professional, But So Is Geno
Here’s the actual complaint (in pdf form): The Kelley Hardwick Suit Vs. Geno Auriemma, NBA, USA Basketball