Morehead State could discipline Sean Woods for the way he corrected Devon Atkinson Wednesday night.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) – Sean Woods picked the wrong time and wrong place to go too far while coaching his Morehead State basketball team.
Maybe you can get molar-to-molar and scream at your players in Itta Bena, Miss., where the national television cameras will never find you. Maybe you can push one of your guys in the back toward the bench and then later say you were trying to calm the player down.
But you'd better not do it in Rupp Arena in a game where your team threatened to upset Kentucky for nearly 30 minutes on a night where there were not many other games being played.
Woods likely knows that today. I expect he will issue an apology soon for the way he over-corrected Morehead point guard Devon Atkinson with less than six minutes to play in the Eagles' 81-70 loss to Kentucky. I wouldn't be surprised if the school disciplines Woods.
The video of Woods' outburst started accelerating into viral status long before the Morehead bus departed Rupp Arena Wednesday night. Who knows? Maybe it will take its place in the You Tube Lose Your Cool Hall of Fame with clips of Bob Knight, Woody Hayes and others who have let their tempers override proper sideline correction behavior. Woods could live on like Mike Gundy or John Chaney blowing up at a press conference.
One clip had more than 33,000 views by Thursday evening.
Let's remember a few things: The reaction it kicked up after the game was considerably greater than the stir it generated during the game.
From the stands it looked like a coach who overreacted after he realized that his chance for the upset of a lifetime was slipping away. Woods was on his guys hard from the opening tip. Morehead was the more aggressive team for most of the night. Even UK coach John Calipari said that – and Calipari got on his guys, in a considerably more reasonable manner, for letting Morehead push them around.
From the upper arena, it was difficult to sense Woods' fury. It appeared that he was upset, but not out of control.
Even some of the guys working the game were not outraged. Watch and then listen to the clip. Kyle Macy, the former Morehead coach, was analyzing the game on TV. His primary comment was: "Welcome to a new (coaching) system."
On the Internet, it looks quite different, especially when it is viewed with other clips of Woods dogging his players in a game earlier this season against Maryland. Woods looks like a coach who needs to apologize to Atkinson and remember there are better ways of correcting your players than using your hands. That's never OK.
My sense is that Woods knows that. But remember: One reason Sean Woods has made it to Morehead is that he has battled across a difficult coaching road simply to get his opportunity in this job. You don't make it out of Mississippi Valley State, which is located in Itta Bena, without being intense and driven.
But there's a right way to be intense. And it's not the way that Woods corrected Atkinson.
He needs to understand that, apologize and then move forward.