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Geno Auriemma’s congratulatory call to Mo’ne Davis ruffled some feathers

Sep 3, 2014, 6:08 PM EST

Geno Auriemma Geno Auriemma

This summer has been a busy one for 13-year old Mo’ne Davis, whose pitching exploits during her team’s run to the Little League World Series resulted in increased attention for the event. For Davis, the days following the LLWS have included a meeting with Los Angeles Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw, throwing out the first pitch at a Dodger game and meeting both Maya Moore of the Minnesota Lynx and Phoenix Mercury center Brittney Griner during the just-completed WNBA Western Conference Finals.

What also came from Davis’ experiences with the Taney Dragons was the nation learning that she would like to play point guard at UConn when the time comes. UConn head coach Geno Auriemma got in touch with Davis, giving the Philadelphia native some words of encouragement during the LLWS. Yet while the conversation had been cleared as being well within NCAA rules since Davis isn’t considered to be a recruitable athlete at this time, an unnamed school reported UConn for a violation of NCAA rules.

Here’s what Auriemma had to say about the matter according to Jim Fuller of the New Haven Register:

“One of the funniest things I have ever heard. I will probably get in trouble for saying this but somebody from the Sixers called and contacted some friends I know and said this kid is great, this kid loves basketball and I think congratulations from Coach Auriemma would really go a long way to helping this kid,” Auriemma said. “I go and get contacted by some people with Little League World Series and say is it OK if she calls you. I said ‘how about I just call and you tell her I said congratulations.’ I call the office and (they said) ‘you know Coach, she is standing right here.’ I said ‘put her on the phone, I want to say congratulations.’ I say congratulations. She is 13 and the conversation lasts about two minutes and she hangs up. How about a school turned us in as a recruiting violation because we are not allowed to talk to her until July 1 of her junior year (of high school) but that is the world that we live in.

“It shows you what is wrong not only for things that go on but also with some of the people that I coach against.”

According to UConn, Davis wouldn’t be considered a recruitable athlete per NCAA rules until she begins high school. Davis will be an eighth grader this school year. It should also be noted that Auriemma stated that he’s never seen Davis play basketball.

Of all the things to report, an brief conversation between a coach and an eighth grader is taking things too far. How’s anyone to know what kind of basketball player Davis will be in a couple years? This appears to be one of those situations where the unnamed school (the school that reported the possible infraction doesn’t have to go public) could have simply gone on about its business.

  1. crazyfootballfun - Sep 4, 2014 at 1:37 AM

    Seriously?

    • nothanksimdriving123 - Sep 4, 2014 at 3:04 AM

      Sadly, I’m guessing yes, seriously.
      Also, I heard from a friend of a friend who never met anyone involved that when John Wooden was coaching UCLA, he once let one of his players have a postage stamp to mail his mom a postcard. I hope the NCAA will investigate this gross violation and do the only proper thing: strip the Bruins of their 7 straight national titles.

      • oruacat2 - Sep 4, 2014 at 12:34 PM

        Did Sam Gilbert provide that stamp?

  2. marksm3wide - Sep 4, 2014 at 11:52 AM

    Coach Geno Auriemma is really loved by his basketball team.
    His rough edges are even enjoyed as part of his valuable reputation.
    If I searched the internet–I probably could not find the exact rule.
    ===
    So I’ll just guess its about money, prospects, housing, travel.
    ===
    The coach threw her a compliment.
    The complaint against him–is useless.

  3. harley5571 - Sep 4, 2014 at 11:56 AM

    She already stated she would like to play at UConn..so Geno is just trying to persuade(get into the mind) of a 13 yr. old because he can and he KNOWS what he is doing..We are talking a child here and we know how impressionable they are at that age. I do believe Geno cheats anyways and this is just another example of that. I am so glad Delle Donne said “nah”

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