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Morehead State coach Sean Woods pushes player to tears with bench outburst

Nov 21, 2012, 11:14 PM EDT

Barclays Center Classic - Morehead State v LIU Brooklyn Getty Images

I don’t know the story behind the relationship that Morehead State head coach Sean Woods has with anyone on his team.

And frankly, I don’t care about it.

For all I know, Devon Atkinson could be the biggest pain in the you know what that Woods has ever coached. He could talk back. He could curse out his coach. He might kick puppies. He could even use the last of the milk in his morning cereal and put the empty carton back into the fridge.

I don’t know. And neither do you.

Which is why Woods’ reaction on the bench during Morehead State’s 81-70 loss to is so problematic.

FOR VIDEO: Click here.

If you haven’t seen it yet, Woods nearly reduced Atkinson to tears on Wednesday night. During a timeout at the 5:51 mark, Woods shoved Atkinson towards the team huddle and then twice went nose-to-nose with the player, screaming at him.

Personally, I don’t have a huge issue with this. Did Woods go too far here? Probably, yes. Is Woods a guy that I would want to play for? No. Would it be the style that I coached in? Probably not. But this Morehead State team is one that thrives on hustle and energy, and it’s not crazy to think that they thrive on their fiery head coach for that. Every athlete has, at some point in their life, played for a ‘screamer’. You deal with it.

The bigger issue is that this is going to be the topic of conversation coming out of this game. Case in point: this post. I’m 250 words into the post, and I’m just now mentioning the fact that for 30 minutes on Wednesday night, Morehead State took it to Kentucky in Rupp. It was a sensational performance that included a 16-0 run in the first half. The Eagles weren’t able to hold on to complete the upset, but that’s expected.

They’re Morehead State.

And they were playing Kentucky.

But their performance was admirable, to say the least.

And it’s going to get buried by the mountain of criticism that Woods will receive because he pushed a player to the brink of tears on the bench.

Rob Dauster is the editor of the college basketball website Ballin’ is a Habit. You can find him on twitter @robdauster.

  1. coryfor3 - Nov 22, 2012 at 7:00 AM

    This plus his pregame comments make Woods seem like a real fun and easygoing guy.

  2. onbucky96 - Nov 22, 2012 at 7:22 AM

    Keep your hands off your players. Lest the players put their hands on you. BTW, Coach Woods, Coach Knight got in trouble for similar infracrtions.

  3. dissapointmentprone - Nov 22, 2012 at 3:11 PM

    What’s the problem? Oh yeah we’ve turned into the society where every kid gets a trophy . This is a non story. Dude finished with 4 points and 5 fouls and I think that’s what he was crying about, not the fact he got a little butt chewin.

    • lindajane1324 - Nov 23, 2012 at 11:54 AM

      Seek counseling! Even your screen name is negative. This is not coaching! Treat others how you wish to be treated! This is ridiculous sports, with no respect for players! If you notice in the video the player composed himself on his 5th foul. That’s part of the game, good sportsmanship! To berate players is disgusting to watch! Our “society” is certainly not needing anymore anger, hate, aggressiveness, dysfunction or mean people!!!!

  4. lindajane1324 - Nov 23, 2012 at 11:41 AM

    This is the most idiotic post! Lets blame the victim of abuse. You, Mr Rob, are another example of why abuse still continues in society. This is NOT even close to what sports are about. This is about a coach with an enormous ego who is screaming, “Look at me, look at me!” Abuse needs to be recognized for what it is! Sexual, physical, emotional or verbal abuse is killing our kids! What the heck is wrong with people????? Notice too, there are no wins after the abuse!

  5. yankeeluna - Nov 24, 2012 at 9:35 PM

    Woods played at UK. He critized current UK players when they played the Cats earlier this season because they didn’t embrace the “UK tradition”, or know anything about guys who had played at UK decades ago.
    Woods shouldn’t take himself so seriously, no one else does.

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