Becca Bruszewski: The Truth Lies In Between

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I totally believe Becca Bruszewski’s contention, told to Curt Rallo of the South  Bend Tribune on Tuesday, that she did not say or do the things she is accused of in relation to verbally dissing UConn after Notre Dame’s win over the Huskies at the Final Four last season.

I also totally believe UConn’s contention something was said that did not sit well with the team or the coaching staff, and because of it, there are some hard feelings among the Huskies.

In all matters such as this, the truth lies somewhere in between Sacramento and Storrs.

I think the most important piece of information in this entire matter was not what was said, or even who said it, but that Geno Auriemma felt it offensive enough to ask Notre Dame coach Muffet McGraw about it at the Big East meetings in May, according to Rallo’s story.

Why would Geno unnecessarily confront McGraw,  who he considers a friend and gifted coach, about something such as this if he felt it didn’t happen or didn’t actually hear it himself?

Geno can be spontaneous, and sometimes he says things he wishes he hadn’t, but I do not believe he would purposely antagonize her and her program. He probably just wanted an explanation. And if he got one, it may not have been what he was looking for because just last week on his CPTV television show he made reference to something that happened between the teams.

When a coach says something like that, on television, the media naturally follows the path.

Also, a sports information director in the Big East, with no axe to grind and no association with either school, admitted Monday hearing of the incident long before the blogs or Doris Burke’s mention of it on ESPN became public.

Also, a UConn player, when asked if the Bruszewski story was true, and who was in the locker room at the time and would have heard it, who I have a good relationship with,  said she couldn’t remember. This is code for “none of your business.” Keeping in the family, folks.

In a way, this is even a little like what Geno said last week after UConn beat Pitt, when he mentioned how he didn’t want to lay it on like Notre Dame allegedly  did during  its 120-44 win over the Panthers in South Bend.

Publicly, there was no problem with Agnus Berenato and Notre Dame. Privately, there was a big problem, and when Agnus thanked Geno for his treatment, praising his program and his teaching standards, that was all you needed to know about how Pittsburgh felt about how Notre Dame treated it.

In summation, I don’t blame Bruszewski for saying something in the heat of the battle. And even if she did – and there’s some logical debate about intention or whether it even it happened – kids are kids. They are competitive and whatever was said likely was tame in comparison to what players say to each other during a game.

So those of you would want to crucify her, please stop it. Consider all the aggravation this senior had dealing with UConn during her career.

And the same goes for UConn, which may have been using the incident for internal purposes to help inspire the team. Dumber, unintentional slights are often posted on bulletin boards in an effort to make writers and broadcasters and coaches and players and pundits unwitting accomplices in the pregame hype game.

Becca, I believe you. UConn, I believe you. Now believe this, UConn needs to get a lot better quickly if it wants to beat Notre Dame this weekend.

That’s not debatable.



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40 thoughts on “Becca Bruszewski: The Truth Lies In Between

  1. BridgetB

    What a riot. So ND not only beat us BUT they hurt our feelings to boot. This season is much better than anyone expected it to be after Maya Moore. We should be celebrating that there are only 4 losses. Gird your loins, though. We may end up with 6 losses. Or maybe not. Stay tuned to “As the Huskies Turn”. You go girls. I love watching you play.

  2. Robert

    ‘Also, a UConn player, when asked if the Bruszewski story was true, and who was in the locker room at the time and would have heard it, who I have a good relationship with, said she couldn’t remember. This is code for “none of your business.” Keeping in the family, folks.’

    No, this is code for I didn’t hear it and my coach is caught in a lie so I have to say something….Who is a UConn player more likely to protect…a player from ND or a UConn coach? Think about it.

    What really happened is that GA opened his mouth and said “no love lost”…was pressed as to why? He couldn’t say because “they are better than us” or “because they beat us and are likely to again”…so he flashed back to that incident and embellished it to make it seem more serious.

    1. Sal Pace

      You are obviously a farmer because you do a great job of shoveling horse ***t. You have NO IDEA what was or WASN’T Said. Shut your hole!!!!!

        1. Sal Pace

          A1 Space when you have a coaching credential and are a recognized by your peers Hall of Fame coach I may join your church the church of IDIOTS!!!!

  3. Glenn MacGrady

    John, with all due respect, you now seem to be engaged in interpretational speculation, albeit reasonable, about Bruszewki’s alleged remark, which without any named sources was itself never anything other than speculation.

    “When a coach says something like that, on television, the media naturally follows the path.”

    Right, so why doesn’t someone in the media just ask coach Auriemma what he meant and what his source is, and report back the facts of what he says or doesn’t say. Leave the speculation to the readers.

  4. Hey Hey Were The Huskies

    If Auriemma actually did try to motivate this present team with his version of the alleged incident involving Becca, that would be not only unprofessional but childish.

    And as mentioned in today’s chat by a UConn fan, Auriemma did indeed RUN UP THE SCORE on Holy Cross in November 2010. He left Hayes in the entire first half so she could score 30+ POINTS in the 1st half.

    UConn not only WON by 80 POINTS but Maya was SHOOTING when the Huskies were up by 58 or 60 POINTS. If you don’t believe me, watch the tape.

    How many points does a team have to win by before being accused of running up the score? 50? 60? 70? 80?

    Remember when Auriemma used to say something to the effect of – if you don’t like us winning by that much, do something to stop it?

    1. Jesus Martinez

      ND has a BETTER head coach than UConn when the playing field is LEVEL. Taurasi shot 1-15 in the 2001 Final Four against Notre Dame. Auriemma did Not take her out. She fouled out. Auriemma is a Stubborn Arrogant.

      1. Kevin

        I agree… Geno probably feels like Doty has paid her dues and as a paid up member of the team she can play all the minutes she wants to until she graduates.

        I have enough respect for Doty that she will pull herself out of a game when she realizes that she is not contributing enough and knows full well someone on the bench could be doing more for the team.

        On the other hand, she might choose to stay in because Geno has confidence in her and that she might turn it around with a steal or a 3 pointer or a great pass.

        If I were Doty, (yes, I know I am not) I would want to come off the bench and contribute in some small way than be a big part of why my team lost.

        That old saying applies here – “When you’re hot you’re hot and when you’re not, you’re not. I would like to add, “and when you’re not, ask the coach to take you out.

  5. MaryAnne Hartley

    Come on folks. Notre Dame has not beaten UConn in umpteen years. They finally beat UConn, on the 4th try, and they are pumped. Sure someone said something, why not?? These are kids after all–and kids will be kids. To make more of it than that–get a life.

    Good article John. Fair, unbiased, blamed no one. Great.

    We love muffet so much we named our cat after her. CD is our puppy. Ok so we need to get a life, too..

    1. Kevin

      I agree MaryAnne, Becca probably said something in all the excitement that was overheard. Even though it was talked about between the coaches, it was kept in a back pocket like a “get out of jail card free” and Geno used it this week to charge up the team.

      Whatever she said was a non-event and was blown way out of proportion this week. I find it interesting that both Connecticut papers could not even agree on the quote – that is what stood out like a sore thumb.

      1. Sal Pace

        Did it ever occur to any of you that believe it didn’t occur and that the facts are not clear is because the parties involved refuse to be forthcoming ergo the exact statement is not known?

          1. Sal Pace

            Like I care what you say. I don’t see a credential backing up anything on this blog. So A1 Space dry up and blow away!!!!!!!

      2. Husky Love

        I agree with you also Mary Anne, something probabl was said, we just don’t know what it was. Muff is doing a great job this yr with her team, I will admit. She has 3 5th/6th year players, she should be winning. For all these ND “happy” fans, enjoy it cause it will soon come to AN END! GO Geno

    2. Sal Pace

      Dear MS. Hartley,

      I hate to disagree but I would hardly call a 21/22 Y/O a kid. In fact the government believes they are old enough to vote, serve in the military, and tried in court as adults! The excuse that they are just kids doesn’t fly!

  6. Dingle Berry

    HEY HEY–I believe anytime a team is up by 30, the Subs should all be in, until the score drops to 25 or less. Should be an NCAA rule. It gives the subs learning time, in a real game. It’s win/win.

    Hey Suze-Martinez–you are right DT shot 1 for 15 from the 3, while Marie who was a good 3 point shooter got none. But the key was Riley sat the first half, was ready to play in the 2nd and she passed everytime she was doubled. Geno was out coached, even with talent, but DT was so hyped by the press, she had to have skin 3 inches thick not to be bothered by it all.

  7. Sal Pace

    Dear John I used to read your blog faithfully but of late it seems that you should be working either in South Bend or Rocky Top or any other place and NOT COVERING UConn Women or GENO. Either get back on board or Zip IT!!!!!!

  8. ooshuskymom

    The UConn Women lost the other night because they stopped playing UConn Basketball when they tied ND. They have the talent to beat ND without a doubt, yet they let it slip away. What happened to playing for 40 minutes? Have they forgotten their commitment to the Team and the University?
    Same holds true for the Men’s Team last night and on Saturday….Love those Huskies but don’t know what’s going on?

    1. Sal Pace

      It is a generational lack of traditional work ethic and respect for themselves their families their coaches and their school. IT IS THE ME GENERATION AND WHATEVER I DO IS OKAY! THEY DON’T LISTEN AND THEY ARE LAZY BECAUSE EVERYTHING HAS COME TOO EASILY FOR THEM!WORST OF ALL IT’S OUR FAULT WE RAISED THEM!!!!!!

  9. Teresa Barton

    Did it ever occur to anyone that Becca’s remarks were misunderstood? She may have actually been expressing empathy with UCONN last year after they lost to ND in the NCAA Semi-finals.

    ND has rarely defeated UCONN over the years and last year they lost 2 out of 3 matches, but the 3rd match was key because it was the NCAA Semi-final game. During Becca’s tenure at ND, she only experienced 1 victory over UCONN. She was elated that they defeated the Lady Huskies in the NCAA Semi-finals, and she could also feel sorry for the Huskies who lost. Becca knew what the Huskies were feeling after losing to ND last year.

    Geno was definitely playing psy-ops with his team and the UCONN fans with Becca’s comments. He was clearly trying to motivate team and fans like what use to be done during the UCONN-TENN rivalry. He may have even hoped to psych out ND, but the ND players didn’t fall for his trick. Muffet said that she didn’t read Geno’s pre-game remarks, so I bet the ND players didn’t either.

    But Geno has ticked off a lot of ND fans, so they will be very motivated during his next visit to South Bend to play the Irish.

    1. Inquiring Minds Want To Know

      Arrogant Auriemma has ticked off a lot of fans – UConn, Tennessee, Notre Dame, etc. Eventually he will tick off the UConn AD or President enough to the point when they “ask” him to leave. Give it time.

      1. Teresa Barton

        Geno’s job is safe for a long while. He is still a great coach with many years left and if UCONN did fire him, there’d be a lot of schools who’d want him. Calhoun has had bad years and done stupid things in the past and he’s still with UCONN. Although Calhoun’s health may be the deciding factor on how much longer he can coach.

        I’m an ND alumna who likes both the Lady Huskies and Irish. I see his “Becca” type comments the way I view WWF shenanigans. I remember when the TENN players relished the role of “bad” girls when the came to play UCONN here. It’s all about getting the fan base engaged with the game.

        Oddly, a few years ago I remember Geno saying that for women’s basketball to grow, UCONN may have to lose games, like the one they just lost to ND. If I remember right, in 1995 an up-and-coming powerhouse, UCONN, upset then powerhouse Tenn and went on to win the 1995 National Championship against the same Tenn team. The first meeting between UCONN and Tenn and the subsequent NC, rocketed UCONN to national attention. Afterwards they lost some games, including NCAA Tourney games, and they seemed to be headed back into national obscurity, but then new talent became available and that talent chose to go to UCONN and win championships.

        I agree with those Geno comments because its boring watching any team, including UCONN, consistently win by 40, 50, 60 or more points. But its up to the rest of the schools to rise to UCONN’s high level of play. ND is doing that. And it looks like St. John’s, Georgetown, and some others are aiming that way.

        I credit Geno for showing the world that women basketball players can play nearly perfect basketball by pushing his players to play the best that they can every night. These UCONN players will figure that out, but they will be doing so as the talent pool grows and they face stiffer competition from sources that used to be easy victories in the past.

        1. Smarter Than The Average Husky

          When Baylor goes 39-0 back to back with Griner and Sims, Mulkey will have accomplished a more difficult task than when UConn won 3 NC in a row. The talent pool now is much deeper and greater than it was in 2002-04. Next year, Auriemma will have a #1 in KML, a #1 in Stewart, a #2 in Jefferson, etc. Looking forward to Auriemma’s excuses next season, when his Huskies do not go 39-0 like he predicted prior to this season.

          1. Sal Pace

            Aren’t you counting your chickens before the eggs are even laid? Next year will bring what next year brings so let us tally the score then, unless of course if you think Mulkeys sideline histrionics with the refs will continue to work for her.

  10. Mike McManus

    I agree with Teresa. Unfortunately these Blogs, which are made available to us to express our thoughts and personal opinions, are being victimized by a few biased individuals who have an axe to grind against either Geno, Calhoun, or both. What they really accomplish is to demonstrate their own ignorance. UCONN has become a respected powerhouse in men’s and women’s basketball and brought valuable recognition to the University, which had the perception as a “cow college.” Geno in particular has run a clean program that has produced some of the best scholar-athletes in the country and a bevy of professional athletes and budding coaches. He knows what he’s doing and he knows how to motivate. Did you nay-sayers forget Tina Charles during her first two years? I think Dolson is in that same category. We’re upset when they lose games that they could have won, but in reality, they have over-achieved.

    1. Mikey Will Eat Anything

      Mike McAnus. Full time mall cop. Part time internet policewoman. Gives all his money to the Church of Geno.

      1. Sal Pace

        Mikey Will Eat Anything must be a real coward afraid to use his own name. His comments as far as I’m concerned are irrelevant! I agree with Mr. McManus!!!!

  11. Jim D.

    Coach Bum Phillips used to say about good coaches that “he can take his’n and beat your’n OR he can take your’n and beat his’n.” Does anyone–outside of Storrs–really wonder about whether this could best be said about Geno Auriemma or–Muffet McGraw? Fact is, when some get a taste of losing they do things that aren’t very honorable. But I’m sure next year UConn will be back to beating teams by huge margins (because they are allowed to, I guess) and all will be right in Genoland.

  12. Bill

    Mr. Altavilla,

    This story from your “source” has gone from Becca went into the locker room and said “sucks to be you” which zero UCONN players heard or knew about. Then the story went to she said it said “sucks to be you” in the hallway. Now you are saying that she said the word “suck” and plenty of people including your source heard it but there is no source coming forward. The only true story that we have heard is from Becca who actually said these words were “oh man that sucks, it could of been us” referring to the fact that it could have been her final game.

    So what can we conclude from your constant backtracking on this story and the changes in what actually happened according to your “source”. Either this non-story was embellished by you and Mr. Elliot Rich to make a mountain out of a molehill or this was stirred up at the most convenient time (playing at UCONN for the BE championship). Regardless of the reason you have the need to continue to report and have the last word on a situation that happened a year ago and if it was so important why didn’t this come up during the first game of the year. I find it too convenient that it was brought up while UCONN was playing ND for a share in the BE title.

    Your side of the story keeps changing as you hide behind this “source”. Based on your inconsistency in the story, you are reporting on hearsay which could easily be misunderstood. Now you are proclaiming it happened because she said “suck” which she confirmed she said and the context of how she said it. Why didn’t the UCONN coaches say something to her? Do you realize that suck is nothing compared to what is said on the floor and in the locker room?

    Based on your facts or lack there of and this “source” of yours that you are using to defame a girl who graduated all in hopes of motivating your own team really speaks to the low levels in which the media and yourself will go to strike up a story. The UCONN fan base is better than to believe this hearsay story yet you have continued to bring it up and discredit yourself in the process. The only thing I can see that actually “sucks” out of this event is your journalism. Lets focus on UCONN girls the good season they are having, the Big East tournament and keep the gossip out of the media.

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