Tim Miles bans his team – from their own locker room, lounge and also from speaking to the media. The University of Nebraska coach, frustrated over his team’s fifth straight loss, has indefinitely banned his team from using its own facilities. The contentious move has rankled both players and fans.
Writes ESPN on Feb. 22: “Following his team’s 74-46 home loss to Iowa on Sunday, Nebraska coach Tim Miles blocked his team’s access to its locker room and lounge… Nebraska, an NCAA tournament team last season, has lost five in a row and seven of its past eight games.”
“If we’re not going to play with pride, play to represent our fan base and our university better than we did today, then they’ll get their voice back when they earn it,” Miles wrote in an email to ESPN.
According to ESPN, the locker room and lounge of the Cornhuskers is much more than a simple changing room with showers. The team “moved into the multimillion-dollar Hendricks Training Complex in 2011. It features iPads in every locker, a kitchen, a state-of-the-art sound system, a pool table and a plasma video wall,” ESPN reports.
Nebraska fell below .500 for the first time this season after being routed Sunday at home versus Iowa. The Hawkeyes had built nearly a 30-point halftime lead after scoring on nine straight possessions. The Huskers committed 13 turnovers and made only two out of 18 three-point attempts.
Miles said he hesitates to throw his players under the bus, but then promptly did so to the media after the game. “You never want to throw your players under the bus, but that was just beyond disappointing. That’s not what we represent. I honestly didn’t expect this.”
In a move reminiscent of Richmond High School basketball’s Coach Carter, Miles said: “There will be chains on the doors locking it from the outside until further notice.”
Assistant Coach Chris Harriman backed Miles, tweeting out an apology to the fans and pledging that the team will improve. “I sincerely apologize to all our tremendous fans 4 our performance today. I’m disgusted, angry & disappointed. It will never happen again,” Harriman wrote.
It appears Tim Miles wasn’t messing around. When asked where his players will shower after practices, Miles said, “Good luck. They’re creative young people.” Media reports also state that Miles had the players’ belongings cleaned out of their lockers and stuffed into duffel bags, which were then left outside of the practice facility.
Fan reaction is mixed. While some support the bold move, many others hate it. One person wrote on NBC’s college basketball site:
“That’ll teach ‘em, coach. Watch for this team to go undefeated for the rest of the season. In other news, rubbing your puppy’s nose in the puddle of piss that it left the kitchen accomplishes nothing either.”
Sound off below: What do you think of Tim Miles and team’s practice facility ban?