Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

“One time is enough” for Auriemma

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It was just his first Olympics as head coach, but after leading the U.S. women’s basketball team to their fifth straight gold medal, Geno Auriemma is taking his ball and going home.

The UConn coach didn’t seem to have much fun at the Olympics, telling the Hartford Courant Thursday that “one time is enough” for him after he realized his job in London mostly consisted of putting talented players on the court and getting out of the way.

“That’s the big fallacy about the Olympics,” Auriemma said. “I wouldn’t call what I did coaching. A lot of the players weren’t interested in learning anything; they just wanted to play.”

The always candid Auriemma said he didn’t have enough time with the players, including his former UConn stars Diana Taurasi, Sue Bird, Swin Cash, and Maya Moore, who were playing WNBA games right up until the Olympics. He added that there were things he quickly learned “I simply needed to put up with.”

Auriemma also served as an assistant during the 2000 Olympics and as head coach for the 2010 world championships, but barring any significant changes in attitude it doesn’t like he’ll sign up for another go round with Team USA. Luckily he’ll have plenty of college kids to teach when his new season starts Sunday.

As for a replacement, our vote goes to Notre Dame coach Muffet McGraw, who’s coming off back-to-back Final Fours, has beat Auriemma in four of five match-ups, and has the best name in all of sports.

Ida Keeling, 100 years old, sets world record at Penn Relays (video)

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Ida Keeling electrified the Penn Relays crowd with her 100-meter dash in 1 minute, 17.33 seconds on Saturday afternoon.

Keeling set a world record for fastest 100m by a woman 100 years and older. There is no data on USA Track and Field and masters athletics websites for a previous record holder.

“I’ll be 101 in a couple of weeks,” Keeling pointed out to NBC Sports’ Carolyn Manno after the race, a mixed-gender event for athletes 80 and older. “I’ve never seen nothing like this crowd. Maybe that’s what the excitement was.”

Keeling’s advice?

“Love yourself, do what you have to do and what you want to do,” she said. “Eat for nutrition, not for taste. And exercise at least once a day.”

More on Keeling is here.

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U.S. sprinters past, present trade relay barbs

Justin Gatlin
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PHILADELPHIA (AP) — The only loss for the Americans at the Penn Relays came in the men’s 4x100m, as the U.S. team bobbled its victory away on a bad baton handoff between Tyson Gay and Isiah Young for the final leg, which led to a disqualification.

Mike Rodgers and Justin Gatlin gave the Americans an early lead in the race, and things were moving along well during Gay’s third leg. But the muffed handoff for the final leg cost the Americans. Both the winning Jamaican squad and the second American team surpassed them.

Young finished third, but the team was disqualified because the handoff occurred outside the pass zone. The second U.S. team of Sean McLean, Wallace Spearman, Calesio Newman and Remontay McLain finished in 39.02.

The mistake led to some inflammatory comments from U.S. great Leroy Burrell about continued problems with handoffs by U.S. relay teams.

“Well, I think we’ve got to put our team together a little earlier, possibly,” Burrell said in a television interview. “I think, we’ve had the same coaches working with these guys for many years, and we’ve had failure after failure. So it’s possible that, you know, it might be time for a bit of a regime change with the leadership.

“I think the athletes have to be the catalysts that make that happen. There’s no reason why we shouldn’t be able to get the stick around. I saw thousands of relay teams yesterday — maybe not thousands, but hundreds of relay teams get it around. But the professionals can’t. That’s just not good for our sport.”

Rodgers didn’t take kindly to those remarks.

“People keep pointing their fingers and downing us, but nobody has ever tried to come out there and help us,” he said. “Nobody from the past. Not Carl [Lewis] or Leroy. They haven’t been out there. I can’t really respect their opinions because they’re supposed to be leaders in our sport and in the USA, and they’re not coming out there to drop some knowledge on us, so I don’t care what they have to say.”

Lewis criticized U.S. relays in March.

Gatlin was equally critical of Burrell.

“I’m tired of people who have been part of Team USA take shots at Team USA,” Gatlin said. “To put us in the same boat as high schoolers is insulting.”

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