Geno Auriemma is firing back at recent comments made by Muffet McGraw in which the former Notre Dame head coach alleged that ESPN holds “complete bias” toward UConn.
“I think the bias has something to do — if there is any — with the 11 national championships, which is a lot more than two,” Auriemma said on the UConn WBB Coaches Show. “At least I remember that on ‘Sesame Street.'”
Back in December, McGraw appeared on the “Off the Looking Glass” podcast, where she said that UConn “absolutely” has an outsized influence on the game.
“I think there’s an incredible bias with their players,” she said. “If you recruit a kid and she’s ranked 35th in the country and then she signs with UConn, the next time the poll comes out she’s 18th.”
McGraw won two titles with Notre Dame and retired in 2020. On the podcast, she said that UConn “has done great things,” pointing to their record.
“They’ve won, way more than anybody else except Tennessee,” she continued. “What they’ve done has been amazing. I think people measure their team by them. When we joined the Big East, we were like, ‘We want to get to where they are. That’s what we want to be. We’re trying to emulate them.’”
But the problem, she asserted, is that ESPN is “over the top” in their coverage of the team, something that Auriemma hit back at on Monday.
“If people didn’t want to watch us on television, I’m sure they wouldn’t put us on,” he said. “If we didn’t generate the ratings, I’m sure people wouldn’t have us on.
“I do want to thank the people at ESPN for helping us win 11 in a row. I mean, if it wasn’t for them, there’s no way we could have done that. So hopefully there’s some people over there that can take credit for that.”
Auriemma also took some personal shots at the former coach, saying that she must be “bored” and not “have a whole lot to talk about.”
“Usually when she was coaching, when she did talk, nobody listened anyway,” he continued. “She did say we’ve won more than anybody except Tennessee. Which, again, I think she missed some Sesame Street growing up. 11 is more than eight.”