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The Inside Track | MORNING BRIEFING

Can They Both Run Hardware Storrs?

April 10, 2004|Chris Foster | Times Staff Writer

The University of Connecticut became the first college to win men's and women's Division I basketball championships in the same season. Now comes the hard part: sharing the spotlight.

Men's Coach Jim Calhoun and women's Coach Geno Auriemma have had a difficult relationship even in calm times.

"Jim and Geno's relationship has a lot to do with the egos of coaching, and when you are a coach, you are actually putting what you think works against what someone else thinks works, whether it be X and O's, recruiting or promotion," St. Joseph's men's Coach Phil Martelli, a friend of Auriemma's for 30 years, told the New York Times.

"From the handful of times I've been with them both, they do not have what I relate to as a friendship, but it isn't like they're the Hatfields and McCoys, and I don't think of them as two guys in the Wild West who want to go out and have a duel."

After the women's team won the national championship in 1995, Calhoun was not amused by a popular bumper sticker that read: "UConn: where men are men, and women are champions."

And Auriemma was hardly chuckling, a few years ago, when Calhoun said that UConn might be wise to have a day-care center and a senior citizens home for fans of its women's team.

As Martelli said, they're not friends.

Trivia time: Which NCAA Division I school was first to win national titles in men's and women's basketball?

Equal under the law(lessness): UConn fans don't discriminate.

On Monday, after the men's basketball team won its title, fans at an apartment complex overturned two cars and started several bonfires. On Tuesday, after the UConn women completed the sweep, two cars were overturned and set on fire at the same apartment complex.

There was one minor difference. Monday, there were 35 arrests; Tuesday, there were nine.

Empty cup: No active NHL player has played more games and not won a Stanley Cup than Tampa Bay captain Dave Andreychuk, who has played 1,597 games in 22 seasons without reaching the finals.

Brush backs: Florida Marlin President David Samson expressed his unhappiness with the number of Marlin batters hit by pitches, saying Monday: "We have made the league very aware we're not going to sit back and let our players continue to be subject to injury by on-purpose fastballs up and around the chest and head area."

That brought quick reaction from Montreal President Tony Tavares, who called Samson's statements, "at best, an emotional and reckless response," adding, "at their worst ... threatening and inflammatory."

It's a long season, fellas.

Trivia answer: UCLA. The Bruin women won their first national title in 1978, adding to the men's 10 NCAA championships.

And finally: San Jose Mercury News columnist Tim Kawakami on Freddy Adu, who made his Major League Soccer debut at age 14.

"At this rate, he'll be a superstar by next year, holding out by 2006, burned out and married to a Spice Girl by 2009 and signing with the Raiders no sooner than 2026."

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