Auriemma’s remarks seemed to be directed at Mississippi State’s Lauren Park-Lane.

Fox News Flash top sports headlines for January 16

Eleven-time national championship winning women’s basketball coach Geno Auriemma’s comments about how this rise of name, image, and likeness has impacted the landscape of collegiate sports have sparked a firestorm.

UConn’s win over St. John over the weekend improved the Huskies record to 14-3. After the game, Auriemma spoke to the media, and he was asked about the challenge NIL and the transfer portal now presents for coaches.

“It’s unfortunate because at a school like St. John’s, maybe, in women’s basketball where some of the teams in our league (Big East), you know, you’ve got a player that’s really, really, really, really good that you coached the hell out of and you just made them who they are,” Auriemma said.

“It happened to Seton Hall last year. And that kid goes, ‘Yeah, well, I think I can make more money somewhere else.’

Geno Auriemma talks to reporters

Auriemma suggested that NIL has introduced a transactional mentality to the college sports world.

“OK, well you wouldn’t have been this good if it wasn’t for your coaching staff that you have right now. So, again, it becomes just a transaction. I don’t think any coach that got into it, that’s around anywhere around my age, completely buys into all that.”

Auriemma’s remarks seemed to take aim at Mississippi State guard Lauren Park-Lane. She transferred from Seton Hall to Mississippi State following the 2022-23 season.

Park-Lane and strength coach Kaiti Jones took to social media shortly after Auriemma’s shared his thoughts.

“Whewww,” Park-Lane wrote on X, the company formerly known as Twitter. “… I still have eligibility left so (I’m going to) just save my comments.”

“To say I left MY 4 year university for money is reckless,” she later added.

Jones, meanwhile, defended Park-Lane’s decision to switch schools.

Mississippi State Bulldogs guard Lauren Park-Lane attempts to shoot the ball

“Keep my (point guard’s) name out your mouth,” Jones wrote. “She transferred as a grad transfer. Last I checked, dedicating 4 years of your eligibility to a university is a completion of the agreed upon commitment. She wants to compete for championships not a paycheck.”

Fellow college basketball players, including LSU star Angel Reese, also came to Park-Lane’s defense.

UConn vs Ohio State

“Been that girl, forever that girl & always will be that girl,” Reese posted. “I remember jokingly asking you come play with me at (Maryland) and you always told me you loved Seton Hall and wanted to graduate there! keep being you CHEATCODE!”

In four seasons with Seton Hall, Park-Lance averaged 15.9 points per game. She earned unanimous All-Big East first team honors for her standout performance during the 2022-23 season and her strong 2021-22 campaign. She has started all but one game so far during her first year in Starkville.