Frequently over the course of the season, coaches lose their cool for various reasons: losing, poor play, or bad calls cause coaches to berate the referees and in this case, the players.
Vanderbilt head coach Kevin Stallings is the most recent guilty party of this common occurrence, enduring a heated exchange with freshman guard Wade Baldwin IV during the team’s post game handshake line following a 73-65 loss to the Florida Gators.
“After the game, an incident occurred in which I need to apologize for,” Stallings said in an official statement. “One of our players acted inappropriately and violated what we believe is good sportsmanship following the game.”
Said behavior prompted Stallings to dramatically overreact under tense circumstances, having just lost, and his testy remarks have been cause for discussion about coach-player dynamics since.
“In my haste to resolve the situation, I made a very inappropriate comment. While obviously it was not meant literally, it was still inappropriate. I apologized to the player immediately following the game, although displaying good sportsmanship is of the highest priority in our program.”
The incident started when Baldwin was allegedly seen clapping in the face of an opposing player. Stallings reacted by screaming “f—ing apologize”; “M— f—, we don’t do that,” and “I’ll f—ing kill you,” according to SB Nation and Diehard Sports. Both parties involved clearly acted in the wrong manner and will likely face some form of punishment from the school.
In the meanwhile, the 16-12 Commodores are looking to build their NCAA Tournament candidacy during their final four games and will need an outstanding SEC Tournament in order to sneak their way into the field. This turmoil is the type of issue that must be avoided if the team hopes to achieve its goal of qualifying for March Madness, and they need everyone at full strength for the postseason.
*Section Photo credit to Joe Robbins, Getty Images; Featured Photo (above) credit to Jim Brown, USA Today Sports