05/25 11:00 CDT NCAA suspends Louisville's Walz for 1 NCAA Tournament game
NCAA suspends Louisville's Walz for 1 NCAA Tournament game
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) --- Louisville coach Jeff Walz received a one-game NCAA
Tournament suspension for comments he made toward NCAA committee members and
staff at the scorer's table during the Final Four.
The NCAA issued a public reprimand to Walz on Friday.
"In the national semifinal game, I used some inappropriate language as I
expressed my frustration toward the scorer's table about the officiating," Walz
said. "I realize that these comments are not acceptable, did not represent the
University of Louisville in the best light, and I apologize for my actions. I
will be more mindful in expressing my emotions going forward. My staff and I
are looking forward to another successful run next season."
Walz must serve the suspension the next time his team reaches the NCAA
Tournament, regardless of what school he's representing. The committee also
will withhold Walz's Final Four per diem allowance.
NCAA officials said in a release that Walz "directed inappropriate comments and
profane language" toward committee members and staffers during Louisville's
73-63 overtime loss to Mississippi State in a March 30 NCAA semifinal in
The Division I Women's Basketball Committee noted Walz had been reprimanded
several times in the past. It decided to apply a stronger penalty to discourage
"The committee actively encourages coaches and student-athletes to display good
sportsmanship throughout the season and during the championship," said Rhonda
Lundin Bennett, the chair of the committee. "The committee agreed that coach
Walz's conduct did not meet acceptable standards and has no place in the sport
on the women's basketball championship."
The NCAA semifinal featured some controversy when Louisville center Sam
Fuehring was called for a technical foul with 2:42 left in the fourth quarter
when she slapped the floor after getting called for a foul. That ruling caused
Fuehring to foul out of the game.
"I had the opportunity to speak with Coach Walz at length and following our
conversation have a clear understanding of the issue from both Coach and the
NCAA's perspective," Louisville athletic director Vince Tyra said. "Coach
Walz's intensity on the sideline is one of his most endearing qualities, but
following our discussion, we both acknowledged that his behavior during the
national semifinal game was not acceptable and is not how we want to represent
the University of Louisville.
"I appreciate Coach's cooperation resolving this matter and fully anticipate
that he will adhere to championship policies, sportsmanship and conduct
expectations in the future."
Baylor coach Kim Mulkey received a similar penalty in 2013 for criticizing the
officiating after Louisville upset her team in a regional final. The punishment
caused Mulkey to sit out Baylor's victory over Western Kentucky in the first
round of the 2014 NCAA Tournament.