Review: Women's BB Needs Better Communication

The annual review of the University of Minnesota Golden Gopher women's basketball program found communications breakdowns that contributed to the recent departure of five student-athletes at the end of last season, director of athletics Joel Maturi announced Monday.

The review by Maturi and senior associate athletic director Regina Sullivan included interviews of student-athletes, coaches and staff. The review did not find any violations of NCAA rules or egregious conduct.

"We did learn that faulty communications contributed to a breakdown in relationships that led to a situation in which some of our student-athletes chose to leave the program," Maturi said. "It appears that the breakdown occurred at several levels, including between coaches, between coaches and student-athletes and even between some student-athletes. As communications became more fractionalized, misunderstandings grew and feelings of mistrust developed.

"While communications problems are not uncommon, we believe that we have learned some things that will help the women's basketball program going forward. We regret the fact that five student-athletes left the program and we wish all of them well."

Head coach Pam Borton said that the coaching staff would work hard to improve communications.

"Turning challenges into learning experiences is something we work hard to teach our players and it is something I am going to do here," Borton said. "I take full responsibility for what transpired the past few months and I am willing to do what is needed to move forward."

"I fully support Coach Borton." Maturi said. "We have a nationally competitive program at Minnesota and our expectations heading into next season have not changed. We will work hard to put ourselves in position to compete successfully in the Big Ten and earn another trip to the NCAA tournament."

The Gopher women's basketball program has made five consecutive NCAA tournament appearances, including a Final Four and three consecutive trips to the Sweet 16.

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