Coach Cries Foul Over The Mirage’s Ill-Equipped Women’s Basketball Tourney
Indiana Hoosiers women’s basketball coach Teri Moren was shocked when she arrived at The Mirage this weekend to see the setup for the Las Vegas Invitational tournament, according to multiple reports. The tournament took place Friday and Saturday in a ballroom with folding chairs for the audience instead of bleachers. Even more inexcusably for a professional sporting event, there were no security personnel or paramedics on hand.
“We’ve played in ballrooms before,” Moren told ESPN. “I don’t want there to be the notion that playing in ballrooms is dangerous. But in this particular event, there were a lot of things that needed to be better.”
The lack of paramedics is what proved a potential danger on Saturday, when Auburn Tigers player Kharyssa Richardson slammed into the floor with four minutes left against Colorado State, appearing to bang her head. EMT personnel took 50 minutes to arrive on the scene and treat her. (Richardson was transported to a local hospital, but Auburn – which won its game 74-73 – tweeted that she was alert and responsive.)
The day before, another injury was sustained in the tournament by star Hoosiers guard Grace Berger, when an Auburn Tigers player collided with her right leg a minute into their game. Berger sat on the bench with ice on her knee for the rest of the game, and was kept out of Saturday’s 79-64 victory over the Memphis Tigers.
“I think any good tournament has EMT and all that, medical professionals on site,” Moren told ESPN. “And once again, that wasn’t the case. Another big miss for this tournament. There were a lot of things that should have been better, and they just weren’t.”
Moren showed ESPN correspondence the school had in March with tournament director Bryce McKey, which promised the Hoosiers that the setup would resemble the Athletes Unlimited professional women’s league. That series took place Jan. 25-Feb. 15, 2022 at the Sport Center of Las Vegas.
But site coordinator Ryan Polk told ESPN that tournament organizers realized too late that this would not be the case.
“We’re very sorry,” Polk said. “The court docket and the lighting, that stuff hasn’t been a difficulty. However, we wanted to have full-on bleachers. We have now notified The Mirage we can’t be coming again…”
Moren told ESPN that there were “other people who probably need to apologize” for what happened this weekend. In a separate Zoom interview with sports reporters, she went as far as saying that the tournament set women’s basketball “a couple of steps backward.”
“We are trying to move our game forward,” she said on that call. “We have an obligation to grow our game, and we completely missed on this opportunity.”
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