Louisville coach Jeff Walz is never one to mince words. After his team lost to No. 5 Maryland on Thursday, he called out his players for their lack of hustle, missed free throws and inadequate defense.
He then went on to discuss society’s decision to hand out trophies to nearly everyone who plays a game now regardless of whether they win or lose.
“You’ve got to have a will. You’ve got to have a will,” he said. “Right now the generation of kids that are coming through, everybody gets a damn trophy, OK? You finish last, you come home with a trophy. You kidding me? I mean, what’s that teaching kids? It’s OK to lose. And unfortunately, it’s our society. It’s what we’re building for. And it’s not just in basketball; it’s in life. You know, everybody thinks they should get a job. Everybody thinks they should get a good job. No, that’s not the way it works. But unfortunately that’s what we are preparing for. Because you finish fifth, you walk home with this nice trophy, parents are all excited.”
“No. I mean, not to be too blunt, but you’re a loser. Like, we’re losers. We got beat. You lost. There is no trophy for us. But unfortunately the way these kids are brought up today, there is a trophy. Because nobody wants anybody to have hard feelings; nobody wants to get their feelings hurt. But unfortunately in the real world — I’m not sure how it is with your all’s jobs — but with mine, if you lose enough, you get fired. And that’s just the way it is.”
His team responded to their coach’s viral rant by showing toughness down the stretch in an overtime win over rival Kentucky on Sunday.
“We all took it to heart,” Louisville star Myisha Hines-Allen said. “We knew we had Kentucky coming in next, so we had to chew it, had to take it and come ready to play. It started in practice because we had energy that next day. He was completely right.”