Sean Woods, Morehead State first-year basketball coach, is facing possible disciplinary action after shoving Eagles’ point guard Devon Atkinson in the back during Wednesday’s 81-70 loss to the Kentucky Wildcats.
At the 5:51 mark of the second half, Atkinson fouled out and a frustrated Wood began to yell at the senior as he made his way to the bench. Once the point guard made it to the bench he shoved Atkinson in the back, pushing him forward, and continued to vent at him during and after the timeout.
Matt Segal, the Eagles’ athletic department spokesman, said Thursday that the incident was being talked about internally and any disciplinary action would be announced as soon as Friday morning.
Woods landed the coaching vacancy at Morehead State after leading Mississippi Valley State to last year’s NCAA tournament. Woods said that he wants his team to reflect his intense personality on the floor.
His forceful personality could be seen during Wednesday’s game as he paced up and down the sidelines during the game. Woods even proceeded to get in other players’ faces throughout the contest. The Eagles played a physical game in which they led in both halves, but it was not enough as the Wildcats came back to win.
Woods frustration with his team was obvious in his post-game comments.
“How did they look tonight? They look like me, right?” Woods said. “They see me every day and that’s how we’re going to be every day. We’re going to fight.”
Woods added that the intensity that he gives during the game is the same as he gives during practice. He stressed that they must step on the court with a chip on their shoulders with something prove.
But he proved that he may have crossed the line with his treatment of Atkinson Wednesday night.
This is not the first intense verbal lashing that Woods has been seen giving to an Eagles player on national television this year. He was seen yelling in the face of Chad Posthumus in a Nov. 12 67-45 loss to the Maryland Terrapins.
But players seem to be accustomed to Woods’ behavior and use it as motivation.
“It doesn’t make us uncomfortable,” junior forward Drew Kelly said. “We can handle it and it makes us better.”
Now Woods must wait until Friday to see if his pass has cost him a fine, suspension, anger management classes or possibly his job.