Morehead State Has Suspended Its Coach For Freaking Out On A Player. Was It Deserved?

  • Glenn Davis

Yesterday, we posted a video of Morehead State basketball coach Sean Woods’ (one-sided) screaming match with point guard Devon Atkinson and asked: did Woods go too far? If you haven’t seen the tirade for yourself yet, here it is:

And while the question about Woods’ conduct was worth asking, the only opinion that really mattered was that of Morehead State athletic director Brian Hutchinson. And apparently, Hutchinson decided that indeed, Woods crossed a line: today, the school suspended Woods for a game. Hutchinson explained the decision thusly:

We believe Coach Woods, while remorseful, is not above reproach. Therefore, he will be suspended for Monday night’s game against Norfolk State. This will allow Coach Woods to consider his action and behavior, and allow him time to contemplate the appropriate way to conduct himself with his players and on the sideline.

And Woods himself said, via a statement released with Hutchinson’s:

My behavior during Wednesday night’s game was inappropriate and unacceptable. I am truly sorry… I can assure our student-athletes, university community, alumni and fans that anything approaching this type of situation will not happen again.

My personal opinion this: I’ll be honest – when I first saw Woods’ outburst, I kept waiting for the really bad part. Yeah, Woods had probably said enough by the time Atkinson got over to him, definitely enough by the time he took a seat, and the shove was a little much, but I was a little surprised this became as big a deal as it was. It might have been Atkinson’s look when Woods walked away – he looked, if not broken, then something close to it. Not to say Woods was in the right – I just expected his freakout to be a little more flagrant.

Woods has to watch himself very closely from here on out, though. It would be one thing if he were an established figure with a record of success at Morehead State, but… he’s five games into his first season there. The school’s got no reason to simply chalk up every tirade to Sean being Sean. Any honeymoon period he might have had? That ended with this suspension. When Woods comes back, he’s got to keep his cool, and win games. Before he lost it on Atkinson, doing one of those two would have probably been enough for Morehead to keep him around for a while as he got a feel for his new gig. Now? He’s got no such luxury.