Could Summitt Break the Gender Barrier?

This is probably the only time you’ll ever see us talk about women’s basketball here at the pub.And I’m going to keep it brief. If anyone chooses to debate me on this I have numerous ways of supporting the points I made here.

Pat Summitt reached 1000 wins last night. That’s amazing at any level. And I’ve got to congratulate her on that. She is without a doubt the greatest coach women’s basketball has ever seen.

But now the debate about whether or not she could could coach men’s level is stirred up again by the media. I’m hearing a lot of network personalities say she could. In a fantasy world they’d be right. But in the real world she would have absolutely no success coaching a men’s program. And I’m not being sexist in any way.

A lot of people say men coach in in women’s programs and have success so a female could do the same vice versa. If that’s your basis then you couldn’t be more wrong. Coaching men vs. coaching women is a night and day difference. Hell, a high school coach could tell you that. Everything from how you motivate your players to practice style is different. Geno Auriemma has put together a great program at UConn but if he were to switch over to men’s basketball he’d struggle. I think the he’d have a better shot at succeeding because recruiting would be much easier for him than Summitt but it’d take at least 5 years for him to switch back over to the style you must have when dealing with men. And in Men’s Basketball 5yrs of transition will get you fired.

You can be the greatest x and o coach there is but if you can’t recruit you won’t succeed. Summitt could absolutely sit on her ass and do nothing and the top high school girls would still be knocking on her door asking for a scholarship. Recruiting is brutal in men’s basketball. And the vast majority of recruits would rule her out right away just because she is a female. Auriemma as man, wouldn’t have this problem so he could plausibly make the transition. But unless he got the gig at UConn or another big time program recruits would still be hesitant to sign with him until he proved himself. Some may read this and say you’re so sexist. And to those of you saying that I say come back to reality. I’m only telling it how it is.

The last point I’m going to touch on is respect. Male basketball players naturally look down on women in basketball. A head coach must have all their players respect and be the unquestioned leader of a program. She’d have a multitude of problems with trying to keep her players disciplined. The kind of recruits you need to succeed at D-1 would walk all over her.

So it’s time to shut up national media. Stop making this into a debate. I know you have to come up with BS material so you have something to talk about but this shouldn’t even be considered. It’s hard enough for a male women’s coach to make the transition. So don’t even begin talking about how Summitt could be one of the top coaches in men’s basketball. It just wouldn’t happen. She is a legendary coach leave it at that. If she for some reason made the switch her legacy would tarnished greatly. Embrace her for awesome achievements in women’s basketball but don’t make her into superhuman coach. Just the fact that we are talking about women’s basketball speaks of how great she has been. She doesn’t need to try to prove herself with the men. What she’s done with the Tennessee women is more than enough.

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One Response

  1. It’s a truly unbelievable accomplishment.

    She could win with a men’s team if she took over a team with talent on it. Top teams like UConn and UNC this year would win 30+ games even if there is a lack of discipline. But those problems inevitably cost teams championships.

    But I agree with you that she could not run a men’s program. I saw ESPN talking about this today and I also agree those clowns need to just talk about the accomplishment and not speculate about things that’ll never happen. They are always bringing things up like this. But then we make it worse by talking about it.

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