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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.

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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.

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