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Christine doesn’t go for the innocent until proven thang (it IS a law thing happening, not a USA Basketball thang) and makes some odd links: USA Basketball shouldn’t play slowdown on Auriemma

From Connecticut’s The Day: Two credible people … and more questions than answers

The day produced a particular illustration of Hardwick that Auriemma’s supporters might not like.

Still, I must admit: I’ve heard Auriemma’s detractors call him every name in the dictionary. But I have never – never, never, never – heard anyone with a shred of credibility question his morality.

From Connecticut’s Courant: Accusations Will Stick With Geno, Regardless Of Truth

I have always counted on Auriemma’s mouth to get him in periodic trouble, but not by using it to force a kiss. I have known him for 18 years. We’ve clashed on occasion, a few times famously. I also found him to be uncommonly loyal. I have been in his company in many social settings, almost always with a handful of media, probably three times a year. So that’s at least 50 times. He enjoys the attention. Saw him drink wine. Saw him smoke cigars. Heard him tell stories for hours. Saw women occasionally approach him like he’s a rock star. Saw those women walk away alone.

I was with the late, rapscallion Randy Smith of the Manchester Journal Inquirer once at a hotel bar with Auriemma. Smith was teasing Geno about his good looks, about women adoring him and how he still kept his hands to himself. Auriemma said he’d never even been to a strip club. I heard him say he’s perfectly happy because he loves his wife so much.

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From Mechelle: Testing Team USA’s solid foundation – Player injuries, lawsuit against Auriemma could test Games’ overwhelming favorite

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.’

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“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

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