Auriemma jokes about Holtz, USF football
UConn women's basketball coach Geno Auriemma is coming to Tampa today, as his two-time defending national championship squad, unbeaten since a Final Four loss in Tampa in 2008, faces USF in the Sun Dome on Thursday night.
Auriemma had a conference call with reporters on Tuesday, and had some funny comments about his friend Skip Holtz, who coached at Connecticut when Auriemma won his first national title in 1995. Holtz goes up against his own school Saturday, though a win against the Huskies would likely keep them from playing in a BCS bowl as Big East champions.
"It's a tough week for him to go through — he just got a coach fired, now he's trying to get a team to not be allowed to go to the first big BCS bowl in the history of the school," Auriemma said. "At the end of this week, they're going to build a statue of him in front of the campus at South Florida, and he's going to be the most hated man on a couple campuses in this country."
Auriemma had praise for Holtz's program, but said since USF can't play in a BCS game, the proper thing for Holtz to do is simply yield to his former employer and hometown school -- he was born just outside Storrs while his father was coaching there.
"I don't think anybody is surprised that they're winning and that they're as good as they are," Auriemma said. "I think from a Connecticut standpoint, I'd love nothing better than to see us go down there, win the game and go to whatever bowl we're supposed to go to. If I'm not mistaken, South Florida is already bowl-eligible. They're already going. He can't go to the BCS bowl we can go to. He plays at Augusta all the time because his father got a membership there. I don't know why he has to be greedy. He should just roll over, let us win the game and move on."
Asked if he'll have time to see Holtz while he's in Tampa, Auriemma said he hoped so, as much for the scouting opportunity as anything.
"I just bought a new iPhone that has cameras on both sides," Auriemma said. "I'm going to try to get to practice, see if I can take his picture, then maybe film some other stuff just in case."
We'll have more from Auriemma in Thursday's Times, and we'll be live-blogging from the USF-UConn game Thursday night as well. ...