UConn coach Geno Auriemma listened to Muffet McGraw’s comments that ESPN was biased toward the Huskies, and responded in the style of Geno Auriemma.
During an appearance in the Podcast “Off the Looking Glass” In late December, McGraw, who trained at Notre Dame from 1987-2020 and now serves as an analyst at ACC Network, referred to ESPN as “the Connecticut network” and stated that there is an “incredible bias” when it comes to evaluate the program and its players.
“UConn has done great things, and they have won much more than anyone except Tennessee. What they have done has been incredible,” McGraw told presenters Kate Fagan and Jessica Smetana. “I think people measure their team by them. When we joined the Big East, we thought, ‘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’s over the top with ESPN. I think it’s the Connecticut network. Notre Dame has NBC. Connecticut has ESPN. That’s absolutely complete bias.”
McGraw also believes that Auriemma has too much influence over the United States team. She pointed to Candace Parker’s complaints on how her bad relationship with Auriemma led to her absence from the 2016 Team USA roster.
“I think if you read some of what Candace Parker said: ‘I didn’t make the USA team. Because Geno didn’t like me. I don’t know why, but he didn’t like the team.’ And I think that’s absolutely true, “McGraw said. “I think he totally controls who is on the team and who is not.”
Auriemma responded to McGraw’s comments in Monday’s issue of the “UConn WBB Coaches Show”, saying that McGraw must have been “bored” and “lonely” when she decided to talk about UConn.
“I guess he doesn’t have much to talk about,” Auriemma told host Bob Joyce. “And usually when he was training, when he was speaking, no one would listen anyway. So I guess he figures he has a platform now.”
The 67-year-old also tried to test his lifelong rival’s training record with Notre Dame, noting that his Huskies teams had won nine more national championships than McGraw’s Fighting Irish squads.
“I think the bias has something to do, if any, with the 11 national championships, which is much more than two, last time I checked,” Auriemma said. “At least I remember it in ‘Sesame Street’. Eleven is much more than two … When you usually win a lot, people want to see you play a lot.”
Before the end of the interview, Auriemma sarcastically expressed her gratitude to ESPN for helping UConn reach an incredible level of success.
“I want to thank the people at ESPN for helping us win those 111 [games] in a row. If it wasn’t for them, there’s no way we would have done it, “Auriemma said.” Hopefully there are some folks out there who can take some credit for that. I don’t know what we would have done without them. “
You can listen to Joyce’s interview with Auriemma below.