Last Thursday, Michigan coach Kevin Borseth ran into the press room and slammed his fist against the podium.
“That’s how I feel,” Borseth said.
He launched into a tirade about how his team blew a 20-point lead in the second half and lost 69-67 to Wisconsin at home. By the end of the tantrum, three fist slams later, Borseth’s bald head was covered in sweat.
Only six members of the media were at the press conference. But in the back of the room, the Big Ten Network’s camera was rolling. Hours later, the tirade hit the airwaves and the Internet. Friday evening, Borseth was featured on SportsCenter and ESPN’s Tony Kornheiser questioned whether he should keep his job.
Following Sunday’s 63-48 loss to Minnesota, a significantly larger audience filed into the press room to see what Borseth’s reaction would be.
But Borseth showed his composure. He didn’t raise his voice. He didn’t slam his fist. Instead, he coolly strolled in and issued an apology.
“I said I was frustrated,” Borseth said. “But that moment didn’t come close to the frustration I felt later to my own reaction to the game.”
Borseth explained his actions misrepresented the University of Michigan in the way it deserves to be represented.
He apologized to the University, his team, the media, the entire Michigan community and anyone who witnessed his reaction.
Michigan’s women’s basketball team received more exposure this weekend than it has in recent years, but for all the wrong reasons.
It wasn’t on ESPN for having its first winning season in six years. And instead of noting Borseth’s success in turning around the program, he was mocked on national television.
“I’ve pretty much turned off my phone because I knew people would call me,” senior Janelle Cooper said. “I really didn’t want to hear anything from other people.”
Borseth’s civility at the podium yesterday shows he has learned that at a school where his every move is monitored, he has to be more careful with what he says and how he says it.
The Wolverines hope they can overlook the attention heading into this week’s Big Ten Tournament.
“My staff and I are looking forward to a successful postseason tournament,” Borseth said. “And I hope this matter can be put behind us as we move forward with our team goals.”
Anyone close to Borseth knows he wears his heart on his sleeve, and Thursday night’s rant was just an expression of his feelings.
Those not close to Borseth might have been alarmed. But his players know how much he cares about them.
“He’s passionate about his team,” Cooper said. “He just wants us to do well. What else can you ask for in a coach?”