Morehead State first-year coach Sean Woods is facing possible disciplinary action after appearing to shove Eagles’ point guard Devon Atkinson during Wednesday’s 81-70 loss to Kentucky.
Athletic department spokesman Matt Segal said Thursday the situation is being discussed internally and any disciplinary action would be announced Friday morning.
Atkinson fouled out with 5:51 remaining, and an agitated Woods shouted at the senior as he walked toward the bench. The coach then appeared to shove Atkinson in the back, pushing him forward, and continued yelling at him during the timeout.
Woods, who led Mississippi Valley State to last year’s NCAA tournament before arriving at Morehead State, said he wants his team to reflect his intense personality. And he was especially animated while facing his alma mater – which has the former point guard’s jersey hanging from the rafters at Rupp Arena.
Woods rarely stood still during the game, pacing the sidelines and getting in Eagles players’ faces. Morehead State responded with a physical game that the Eagles held the lead against Kentucky in both halves.
It also resulted in 32 personal fouls that helped the Wildcats rally to win.
”How did they look tonight? They look just like me, right?” Woods said. ”They see me every day and that’s how we’re going to be every day. We’re going to fight. …
”Every day we step out in practice and in games, we have got to have a chip on our shoulders that we have something to prove.”
But Woods may have crossed the line against Kentucky.
The game ended with his second intense sideline encounter with a player this season. During a 67-45 loss at Maryland on Nov. 12, Woods was seen yelling in the face of Chad Posthumus while the junior center was sitting on the bench.
Morehead State players seemed unaffected by their coach’s behavior.
”It doesn’t make us uncomfortable,” junior forward Drew Kelly said. ”We can handle it and it makes us better.”
Woods’ passion landed him in the spotlight before Wednesday night’s game.
Earlier in the week he criticized some of the current Wildcats’ for their attitude and for their limited knowledge of Kentucky basketball history. It bothered him that Wildcats freshman center Willie Cauley-Stein was unaware of Christian Laettner or ”The Shot” that beat Kentucky in 1992.
”They don’t get it,” Woods said. ”They play basketball, but they don’t know what basketball really is. And they’re very, very fortunate. We live in a microwave society now, and it’s a shame that kids don’t know the history.”
Woods later apologized for his comments via Twitter and said Wednesday night that he was ready to move on from that incident. Now he is trying to put another controversy behind him.