Professor Auriemma: Delayed For One Year

by Categorized: Big East women's basketball, Geno Auriemma, jen rizzotti, UConn women's basketball Date:

Look, there isn’t really much to say about Wednesday’s 97-25 win over Oakland. What did you expect? Exactly my point.

So I thought I would relay a story Geno told at the end of his press conference about how the impending induction of Hartford coach Jen Rizzotti into the Women’s Hall of Fame next June delayed his professorial debut.

Geno said he was all set to spend three weeks in Florence, Italy over the spring teaching a course at UConn’s international branch campus there – until he discovered Rizzotti, his former All-American point guard was being inducted.

“The course wasn’t about cheese, wine and pasta,” Auriemma said.” But when I found out the dates of the induction ceremony in June [2013], I said there was no way I was going to fly back over [from Italy to the United States]. So I just decided to put that [the teaching] off.

“Instead, we are going to attend [the induction], spend some time there, do a bunch of things and have a little fun. It means a lot to Jen, a lot to the University of Connecticut. There was a three-year time frame [1992-95] when people got to know Rebecca Lobo. But in many ways, our program was defined by the little kid in the ponytail [Rizzotti] who dove all over the place.

“It’s hard for a 6-5 player [Lobo] to inspire many because you realize there’s no way you likely¬† will be that tall. But when you saw a little player like Jennifer become national player of the year as a senior averaging 11.0 points a game, every little kid in Connecticut and the country said, ‘I can do that.’ Just for that alone she should be in the Hall of Fame.”

Oh by the way, Geno said he was planning to lecture about his fascination with the difference in the way Americans and Europeans treat sports.

“We were going to do a three-week seminar on how sport affects cultures in different ways,” Auriemma said. “We had a lot of great things planned. We hope to do it next year [2014].

“It’s a great opportunity for me to learn more and to be in a different environment. But as for this spring, I will be in Knoxville [where the induction takes place]. When did anyone ever think they would hear me say I’d trade Florence for Knoxville?”






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10 thoughts on “Professor Auriemma: Delayed For One Year

  1. Krista

    I agree. Jen was my idol growing up. She was smart and hard working. The entire women’s basketball team during that era is responsible for my interest in sports. Thank you!

  2. John

    I was flipping around and saw the score near halftime was 52-17 57-12 or something. Talk about boring. Geno should just play the entire bench 30 min.

    1. Chuck


      Bored, eh? I guess you were scrambling around to find a forum where you could tell folks about that. Good for you as it probably lifted the boredom temporarily by posting your little opinion on here.

      Take a hike, pal.

      1. John

        I wasn’t bored. The O’Reilly Factor was on commercial so I flip around. I’m sure the fans at the HCC were bored though.

    2. billnaples

      I did not see the final stats so I don’t know how many minutes each player got. What I do know is in a perfect share each of the nine available players would have gotten about 22 minutes. If you had watched any of the beginning of the game or read a preview you would have known that Tuck and Stokes were out for the game (or more). You would have seen that Stweart was going to come off the bench with Dolson, Lewis, Faris, Hartley, & Doty starting. With Buck, Jefferson, Banks and Stewart as the bench who would you expect to put out on the floor. And while it sounds like a Geno cliche try to remember that UConn plays the game and not the scoreboard.

      1. Biminie the bimbo

        You knew he wasn’t a FAN when he said he was scrambling around and came across the half time score–Fans were watching.
        But it is interesting — he isn’t a fan but he’s made a comment on a FAN’s site.

        It was a giant against an ant game. But you both play these games to learn from them. Oakland (MI) their coach can tell their players “this is how you play the game”. They did put Uconn back on their heels to start the second half. They had many good minutes in the second half.
        Uconn got Hartley back into the game-mentally. Jefferson and Banks and KML played very good.

  3. village idiot

    Boy would I like to be in any class taught by Geno. A lesson on basketball is something he gives most competition.

    Like the 80000 his family donated, the Coventry Spaghetti dinner for people without cooking facilities, to all the events he won’t let the press publish about how he and his team gives back to the community–this gesture of postponing a few weeks of teaching in his native Italy to “be there” for one of his former players is typical of the Auriemma/s and UConn Women

  4. Keith

    U got it goin on vil idiot! The more I follow Geno and his program – I not only respect him obviously for what he has built – I really admire him. He is honest to a fault. And he really seems to love his life and family- and why shouldn’t he? We will beat Baylor in close game in Nat Championship 2013!

  5. Keith

    Also-hartley is moving and playing like Hartley again. It was a good tune up after the long layoff!

  6. Eileen

    Talk about a coach whereby his ex-players mean more to him than going to ITALY to teach. Of course, Geno chose to attend Jen’s induction into the Women’s Hall of Fame, even though it is in Knoxville, ugh!! Geno you are the best. I saw you on CNN this morning talking about the wonderful scholarship program you started at UConn for the Sandy Hook kids. Love you Geno.

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