056

 

Commentary by Jacqueline Bennett newsandviewsjb.com

 

Back when I began my reporting career, there was a photographer at the newspaper who used to roll his eyes and sigh when he was assigned to cover “girls’ games”. He saw girls’ games as a snooze, not up to the level of competition as the boys and thus not necessarily worthy of coverage. However, Title IX was in place as was a more open-minded editor and the girls’ games got some ink.

 

Fast forward to the 2016 NCAA women’s national basketball tournament and a sports writer who announced he will not be covering the rest of the University of Connecticut games, essentially because so far they have been a snooze – a cake walk. Apparently, the University of Connecticut women are too good?! Absent sound competition, UConn has been racking up scores with wide differentials.

 

UConn Head Coach Geno Auriemma responded by pointing out when Tiger Woods was dominating the game of golf, no one said he was so good that he was ruining the game. “In fact, Tiger was good for the game. He made everyone else play better,” said Auriemma.

 

It is up to UConn’s opponents to raise their level of play, not for the UConn women to play down to lesser competition. That would be dishonest and unfair to the UConn players who hustle in practices and on game days. Having gotten a glimpse of some of those practices, they are not for the faint of heart. Were I not a UConn alum, I would feel the same way.

 

By the way, a main tenet of good journalism is – be there.