Geno Auriemma goes scorched earth in response to Muffet McGraw's ESPN bias claims

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·2-min read

It appears Muffet McGraw touched a nerve.

Less than two weeks after the retired Notre Dame head coach complained of ESPN being supposedly biased toward Connecticut, Huskies head coach Geno Auriemma responded with a series of comments defending his program and lashing out at his former colleague.

McGraw made her comments on the "Off the Looking Glass" podcast, hosted by Jessica Smetana and former ESPN writer Kate Fagan. Here are some of her comments via, funnily enough, ESPN:

"Absolutely," said McGraw, who retired after the 2020 season and now works as an analyst with the ACC Network, which is owned and operated by ESPN. "UConn has done great things, and they've won way more than anybody else, except Tennessee. What they've done has been amazing. I think people measure their team by them. When we joined the Big East, we were like, 'We want to get to where they are. That's what we want to be. We're trying to emulate them.'

"But I think it goes over the top with ESPN. That is Connecticut's network. Notre Dame has NBC, Connecticut has ESPN. That is absolutely complete bias there."

There is a whole lot going on in there and other comments McGraw made, not the least of which was the subtle "except Tennessee" putdown. McGraw retired from coaching in 2020 after more than three decades in South Bend, a tenure that included two national championships, nine Final Fours and six conference tournament championships.

Both national championships saw Notre Dame defeat Auriemma's Connecticut, while six of the other Final Fours also saw matchups with the Huskies (going 3-3). So Auriemma and McGraw have a history, and it was against that backdrop Auriemma responded on Monday.

In a series of comments via Daniel Connolly of The UConn Blog, Auriemma said nobody listened to McGraw even when she was coaching, chalked up any ESPN bias as a reflection of his program's success and cast aspersions on McGraw's ability to count. 

He even called scoreboard on his 11 championships against McGraw's two:

There are graceful ways to react to perceived slights and insults and then there is this. We'll see if McGraw responds.

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