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So, yeah, there’s this thing going on: Players saying their coaches are so mean they’re either leaving their programs or suing them.

Chicago/Swoopes: Ex-Loyola players say Sheryl Swoopes’ coaching methods behind mass transfers

ISU/Fennelly: FENNELLY WOULD CHANGE “NOTHING” IN HIS RELATIONSHIP WITH MOODY

Illinois/BollantBollant speaks for the first time since allegations

Nebraska/YoriNatalie Romeo denies Yori allegations, gets permission to transfer; another Husker looking at schools

Duke/McCallie: Duke investigating McCallie’s basketball program

Kentucky/Mitchell: The Kentucky women’s basketball crisis and the battle over culture

College of Charleston/Jackson: Former women’s basketball player sues College of Charleston

SFA/Kellogg: SFA officials investigating complaint made by Ladyjack basketball player

 

First, I’m not quite sure I’m loving some of this “kids these days” reactions. Not only did we raise these kids, but we created the environment they’re playing in: travel teams, *fillintheblanksportscompany*  gear, pretty locker rooms, rating systems and a society that seems to value athletic skill over personal virtue.

Who wouldn’t struggle to keep their head on straight when faced by that wave of privilege?

“Kids these days” is the reality you’re dealing with. It IS a different world – and looking back to the “golden” past (some of it real, some of it mythologized) won’t help you figure out what actions you need to take with the players in front of you.

Second, it smacks of the dismissive “why don’t they just suck it up and get over it” mentality that undermines those who try to speak up against abuse, it whatever form it takes (Summitt/LaTech & Chinn/FIU come to mind). It moves to accepting the phrase “PC” as a pejorative.

For me, “politically correct” is the radical assumption that an individual can recognize that there are power dynamics in the world and that they are manifested in language and behavior. For me, being sensitive to those those dynamics doesn’t make you weak. It challenges me to be thoughtful and intentional in my practice. It asks me to consider the consequences of my actions before and after I take them. It’s hard and annoying and exhilarating and confusing and, sometimes, threatening and humiliating as I recognize behavior and patterns that don’t necessarily fill me with pride.

Coaches are often held up as educators. Now, there are all sorts of educators – with different styles and pedagogy. (And I’m guessing that we can agree that some of what happens in a gym would be unacceptable in a classroom – that, itself, is an interesting discussion). And, as educators, it’s not just what you know. How you share it makes a difference, too, because learning is an emotional, physical and intellectual process.

Coaches know this – you often hear them talking about “what works for this player doesn’t work for that player.” Sometimes it’s called “pushing buttons.”

Well, sometimes the buttons we push are the wrong buttons. And as educators… as the adults in the room, it’s on us to reflect, “What was my role? If I could do it over again, could I have done it differently? How will this impact my decisions and practice moving forward?”

Hey, maybe you wouldn’t change a thing. And please, don’t mistake my intent. I’m not advocating that folks avoid honesty, hard truths, pushing folks, being direct etc. Again, being sensitive and respectful is. not. being. weak. In fact, it requires a certain amount of courage to say, “Huh. By my actions, I made someone feel a certain way. Am I okay with that?”

How you answer that question determines your next steps.

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other such targeted celebrations during basketball games can raise a huge number of issues.

As Mechelle said in her chat, “the fact that the league is celebrating [Pride], and that WNBA president Laurel Richie easily says the words “lesbian” and “gay” publicly, are all good signs.”

It’s also a fact that many faith-based organizations are deliberately and actively against equal rights for all, something I find both hypocritical and wildly un-American. So, when WNBA teams host “Faith nights,” it can, understandably, raise the hackles of all fair-minded fans. From an email I received:

I’ve written to LA Sparks mgmt. because this year they had 2 christian events as “entertainment” and no non-christian concerts/entertainment.  This really turns me off to attending Sparks games and I know I’m not the only one.  Is it possible that certain teams are looking to decrease gay fans and increase “families”, specifically christian ones? Don’t know but I think that it’s not a smart idea.

I agree, it’s unwise to alienate one fan base in the hopes of drawing another one. Neither am I willing to lump all faith-based organizations under one umbrella. But how do you decide who does or does not get a night? Here’s my simple litmus test: does the group/organization follow this non-discrimination statement as presented by Iowa State University:

“(Fill-in-the-blank) does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, age, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, gender identity.”

If the group demonstrates a pro-active compliance, cool. If no, respectfully suggest that they are more than welcome to support the League through the purchase of group tickets, but no team of the WNBA would knowingly align themselves with an organization that would deliberately discriminate.

Thoughts?

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damned if you don’t when it comes to the question of parity in women’s basketball: if you say, “Look at all the ranked teams that lost (many to unranked teams)” folks will say, “The ranked teams aren’t that good,” or “it’s a down year for women’s basketball.”

Of course, if all the ranked teams win, then they’ll say, “There’s no parity.”

So, Sunday, clearly the ranked teams aren’t that good:

#9 Ohio State lost to Minnesota (12-11), 76-65.

#19 Penn State lost to Michigan State (13-9), 83-77.

Yes, #12 Rutgers had Rushdan go down (hopefully temporarily), but how do you only score 36pts in your loss to #16 Georgetown?

Ranked, and lucky to escape with a win:

#13 Texas A&M by 2 over Iowa State (11-8).

#16 Delaware by 7 over James Madison (15-5).

#24 Georgia Tech by 9 over Clemson (5-14)

#25 North Carolina by 4 over Wake Forest (12-9).

In the spirit of “there’s no parity in women’s basketball:”

#6 Kentucky over Alabama by 14.

#8 Miami over Boston College by 31.

#9 Tennessee over #15 Georgia by 17.

#21 Nebraska over Illinois by 20.

Conference undefeated UTEP over UCF by 29.

Conference undefeated Marist over Sienna by 11.

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The day after the Minnesota Lynx win their first WNBA title, Brenda VanLengen and Mechelle Voepel host a special weekend edition of “Women’s Sports Central” to discuss the Lynx historic victory, plus NCAA volleyball, Texas A&M’s visit to the White House and the health news on Iowa State’s Bill Fennelly.

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From Jim Buzinski at OutSports: Gay couple defend Iowa St. women’s basketball

Matt Schuler and Robert Alden, legally married in Iowa, live in Ames, Iowa, and have been longtime Outsports readers. Both are also frequent posters on our Discussion Board, Matt as “Cyclone Matt” and Robert as “tbbucsalstott.” They have attended Iowa State women’s games for years, are close with many in the program, and Coach Bill Fennelly attended their wedding reception. I found their perspective on the Iowa State program and homophobia to be worthwhile to share.

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400: With Duke’s 75-50 victory over USC, Joanne P. McCallie gets her 400th win.

18: Tennessee pounds Chattanooga behind school-record 15 3-pointers

500: Bill Fennelly wins 500th career game as Iowa State cruises

29: Don’t know if it’s a record, but it IS a heck of a lot of turnovers. But the Seminoles survived to defeat Auburn.

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On Friday, Oct. 29th, Ashland Health Center in Ashland, KS will be teaming up with Comanche County Hospital in Coldwater, KS for the second year to host a charity women’s basketball game.

Celebrity players/coaches/refs include WNBA players and previous college players from:
Jackie Stiles and Tahnee Balerio – Missouri State University;
Shalee Lehning, Marlies Gipson, and Kayla Herd – Kansas State University;
Theresa Becker and Ivana Catic – The University of Kansas;
Jelena Spiric and Brooke Schwartz – University of Nebraska;
Jamey Cavey – University of Iowa;
Anna Florzak – Iowa State University
Kristi Meis – Fort Hays State University
Wichita State Cheerleaders
University of Kansas Cheerleaders

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