Auriemma Comments on OSU Tragedy

Connecticut women's basketball coach Geno Auriemma has released a statement regarding the tragic plane crash that killed Oklahoma State coach Kurt Budke and assistant coach Miranda Serna Thursday night.

Said Auriemma:

"The tragedy at Oklahoma State, which has known its share of tragedy in the past, leaves you with a helpless feeling. My heart goes out to the families of Kurt and Miranda and everyone associated with the basketball program and University.

"The women's college basketball community just lost two family members and all of us are feeling the effects.

"There won't be a day that goes by this season that we won't think about them in one form or another."

Here's the story from FOXNews.com:

Oklahoma State University women's basketball coach Kurt Budke and assistant coach Miranda Serna were killed when the single-engine plane they were riding in during a recruiting trip crashed near a wildlife management area in central Arkansas.

The university said the pair died in the crash Thursday night near Perryville, about 45 miles west of Little Rock. The Winona Wildlife Management Area is in steep terrain in the eastern Ouachita Mountains, but a cause of the crash was not announced.

In January 2001, 10 men affiliated with the university's men's basketball team died in a Colorado plane crash. OSU said the plane's pilot and another passenger also died in Thursday's crash. Their names were not released and OSU said they were not associated with the university.

"There were no survivors," the university statement said.

The Perry County Sheriff's Department said the crash occurred just before 7 p.m. about 4 miles south of Perryville. FAA spokesman Lynn Lunsford said an immediate search revealed that at least two were dead. The school's statement Friday put the death toll at four.

Lunsford said the plane was a single-engine Piper PA-28. The National Transportation Safety Board said it was sending investigators, and that it could take nine months to determine the cause of the crash.

OSU hired Budke from Louisiana Tech.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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