What was Michael Cooper thinking? At the start of the USC/UCLA post game press conference, USC women's basketball coach Michael Cooper first words were: "[expletive] UCLA”
He has since apologized, according to ESPN.
Another blogger wrote something like, “What was the big deal? And it's just college.” So of course we had to chime in:We say, yes, it does matter that Michael Cooper is at an institute of higher learning, that he is a coach, educator and role model to his players and the University at large, and that he is to lead the way in graciousness, sportsmanship and class for the University he represents. This was not some “trash talking” that he did in a private arena; say in his practice or in a hallway or among friends. This was in a very public arena, a press conference, one of the ways to help publicize the sport of women’s basketball. They were the first words out of his mouth! Unacceptable. Is this the type of attitude we want to teach any player, male or female? In these days where you have parents getting in physical altercations with opposing players’ parents and coaches and even officials (witness the case of the hockey coach who confronted a referee after a game and knocked him to the ground, only to have the ref hit his head on the ice and die), we need some civility, grace, and sportsmanship in our sports, and we need the leaders to be the coaches at colleges and universities, including a high profile one like USC and Michael Cooper.