Morehead State coach Sean Woods suspended 1 game for confrontation with player

Jason Szenes

The first-year coach of the Eagles will miss the team's upcoming contest against Norfolk State this coming Monday after going too far in disciplining one of his players.

The Morehead St. Eagles suspended coach Sean Woods Friday after the coach harshly disciplined one of his players in Wednesday night's 81-70 against the eighth-ranked Kentucky Wildcats.

After senior guard Devon Atkinson collected his fifth personal foul to foul out of the game, Woods berated him heavily as the player walked back to the bench. During a timeout, Woods appeared to physically push Atkinson toward the bench, and continued to yell at the guard once he had sat down. Atkinson is averaging 7.0 points per game this season.

In a statement released Friday by the Morehead State Athletic Department, Director of Athletics Brian Hutchinson wrote:

"It is our expectation that our coaches are first teachers, who reflect the core values of the university which includes valuing the individual and treating people with respect. Near the end of the game, Coach Woods' interaction with one of our student-athletes fell short of that value and was unacceptable.

"We believe Coach Woods, while remorseful, is not above reproach. Therefore, he will be suspended for Monday night's game against Norfolk State. This will allow Coach Woods to consider his action and behavior, and allow him time to contemplate the appropriate way to conduct himself with his players and on the sideline."

Woods apologized, writing that his actions were "inappropriate and unacceptable" and promising that "anything approaching this type of situation will not happen again."

The game against Kentucky was particularly fraught with emotion for Woods, who excelled as a point guard for the Wildcats between 1988 and 1992. His college playing career culminated with the legendary NCAA Tournament regional final between Kentucky and the Duke Blue Devils where Christian Laettner sank a game-winning shot in overtime to give Duke the 104-103 win.


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