Women's College Basketball
Geno Auriemma criticizes modern transfer portal: 'How do you coach?'
Women's College Basketball

Geno Auriemma criticizes modern transfer portal: 'How do you coach?'

Published Jan. 16, 2024 9:01 p.m. ET

Geno Auriemma is not a big fan of the transfer portal.

UConn women's basketball's head coach had some ardent words about players relocating schools, saying that despite his own legendary status, the current state of the portal makes it difficult to recruit and maintain players.

"I'm somewhat fortunate where I am.," Auriemma said. "There aren't a whole lot of high-level, high-level players coming to Connecticut going ‘I’m leaving for a better opportunity.' … We have pretty strong relationships with our best players. They didn't come here for the money, they didn't come here for the other stuff. So not only do they make more money than the average bear, but they understand they can.

"The average coach out there though, who's not where I am, you can't do your job anymore. And people will say you've gotta change with the times. How does changing with the times help you have better relationships with your players when it's all transactional now? So what kind of relationship can you have with somebody that is telling you ‘I might be here one, maybe two, maybe three, maybe four, or I might be at four schools in four years.’"


Auriemma took his sentiments a bit further, providing an example of a player who he believed fell into this category: former Seton Hall point guard Lauren Park-Lane.

"It's unfortunate … because with some of the teams in our league, you get a player that's really, really, really, really good, and you coach the hell out of them, and you just made them who they are? It happened to Seton Hall last year. And that kid goes ‘yeah, well I think I can make more money somewhere else.’ Okay, well you wouldn't have been this good if it wasn't for your coaching staff that you have right now. So again, it becomes just a transaction. And I don't think any coach that got into that's anywhere around my age completely buys into all that."

Park-Lane, who was a two-time First-Team All Big-East recipient and won the conference's Most Improved award in 2020-21, transferred to Mississippi State from Seton Hall this past season. She had a remaining year of eligibility due to COVID-19. The 2024 preseason Nancy Lieberman Award Watch List recipient responded to Auriemma's comments on X Tuesday.

Park-Lane's strength coach at Mississippi State also got involved in the social media spat. 

Auriemma has garnered a reputation over the years for controversial statements, and this one won't add to his tally of fans in the women's basketball world. 

Whether he's a fan of it or not, the transfer portal is here to stay. Auriemma though, doesn't seem like he'll warm up to the constant movement any time soon.

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