During media day yesterday at The University of Louisville Coach Jeff Walz was asked what he thought of the SI.com article describing the “culture towards women at the University of Louisville.” He did not mix words in his response. “I thought it was lazy journalism.” “I mean, I am not a journalist, but I would think that if I were I would probably actually visit the campus and speak to someone affiliated with the University.” “I don’t think speaking to a person who was on campus nearly 10 years ago is how I would do that.” While not uttering harsh words per se, the underlying disdain for the article was palpable. It was palpable, well placed, and correct.
Once the coach concluded his portion of meeting with the reporters, the team was made available for comments. There were the typical questions; “Tell me what the hardest adjustment has been” or “What do you think about this year’s team” but I wanted to know about something else. I wanted to know what the “culture” was for the young women who are on the basketball team. In order to do that, I tried something unusual. I asked them.
To a person, every player I spoke with was happy and upbeat about their time so far at U of L. Briahanna Jackson said this about her time on campus; “Honestly, I’ve never experienced anything negative. Everyone here has been welcoming, on the team, off the team, other athletes…” So, while the popular narrative may have been written by a large media outlet, and echoed by many who have an agenda, the vibe on Floyd Street, with the women’s basketball team does not match up with SI.com mantra. All anyone had to do was ask.
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