You could excuse Baylor Bears women’s basketball coach Kim Mulkey for being angry and irate following her team’s loss to the UConn Huskies in the Elite Eight following a controversial no-call in the closing moments.
If you did not watch this game then you missed out.
-Baylor led by 10 near the end of the 3rd quarter
-UConn went on a 19-0 run
-Baylor closed the gap to 1-point
-UConn missed 2 free throws
Then this happened…
— Covers (@Covers) March 30, 2021
Even though the Bears won’t be playing in the Final Four, Mulkey used her post-game press conference to share the opinion that the NCAA Should stop testing players and coaches for COVID-19, lest any player test positive and become unable to play. And those kinds of comments seemed at odds with the moment and showed a real lack of perspective at a time when COVID rates are on the rise.
“After the games today and tomorrow, there’s four teams left, I think, on the men’s side and the women’s side,” Mulkey said. “They need to dump the COVID testing. Wouldn’t it be a shame to keep COVID testing and then you got kids that test positive or something and they don’t get to play in the Final Four? So you just need to forget the COVID tests and get the four teams playing in each Final Four and go battle it out.”
Tone-deaf as they were, the comments seemingly came out of nowhere, especially given that there were no major issues in the NCAA Women’s Tournament in terms of player testing. In fact, there have only been two confirmed positive tests at the women’s tournament, an incredibly low number given that roughly 15,400 have been administered.
The only game in either the men’s or women’s tournaments that was affected by positive tests was the first-round matchup between Oregon and VCU. When there were multiple positive tests within the VCU program, the game was called a no-contest, and Oregon advanced.
During her press conference, Mulkey also made a bit of a show out of wearing a mask, perhaps in an attempt to make it seem unwieldy and oppressive (but just coming off looking like she doesn’t know how they work).
You mean to tell me that this woman right here doesn’t have a firm handle on COVID-19 protocols?! pic.twitter.com/9BjXGVKiZ5
— Meredith Cash (@mercash22) March 30, 2021
Mulkey also had strong words surround COVID-19 in January when she returned to the sidelines after contracting the virus herself. When asked if she thought the season might be canceled early, she noted (perhaps correctly) that money talks.
“The answer is this: The season will continue on. It’s called the almighty dollar. The NCAA has to have the almighty dollar from the men’s tournament. The almighty dollar is more important than the health and welfare of me, the players, or anybody else.
“One conference does this, one conference does that. The CDC says this. Everybody is confused. I’m confused. I’m uncomfortable coaching. I understand, COVID is real. I’ve had it — come talk to me sometimes. But I don’t know…all the calls and procedures, that’s gonna go on and make it unusual, uncomfortable for every program. We’re no different at Baylor.”
Mulkey also made headlines in 2017 when, in the midst of Baylor’s campus being awash in allegations regarding rampant rape and sexual assault, she told Bears fans to punch critics “right in the face” for saying they wouldn’t send their daughter to Baylor.
— John Elizondo (@johndelizondo) February 25, 2017
We’re going to assume that the NCAA will not take Mulkey’s advice and will continue to test players and coaches in the Final Four.