NFL great Shannon Sharpe scolds LSU’s Kim Mulkey after South Carolina fight: ‘You’ve got to be better’


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LSU women’s basketball coach Kim Mulkey came under scrutiny from Pro Football Hall of Famer Shannon Sharpe following the skirmish in the SEC Tournament Championship against South Carolina.

Sharpe took issue with Mulkey saying she wished South Carolina star Kamilla Cardoso would have pushed Tigers forward Angel Reese instead of Flau’jae Johnson, as she noted the height disparity between the two players.


LSU coach Kim Mulkey during the first quarter of the SEC Women’s Basketball Tournament Championship game at the Bon Secours Wellness Arena in Greenville, South Carolina, Sunday, March 10, 2024. (Ken Ruinard / staff / USA TODAY NETWORK)

“It’s ugly, it’s not good, no one wants to be a part of that,” Mulkey said, via ESPN. “But I’ll tell you this, I wish (Cardoso) would’ve pushed Angel Reese. If you’re 6-8, don’t push somebody that little. That was uncalled for in my opinion. Let those two girls who were jawing, let them go at it.”

Sharpe pushed back on that during ESPN’s “First Take.” He said South Carolina coach Dawn Staley was acting classier for trying to downplay the incident involving one of her players and accused Mulkey of trying to hype the brouhaha up.

“You mean it figuratively, not literally. ‘Oh, we’re gonna fight. We’re gonna fight them tooth and nail. We’re gonna scratch and claw. You give nothing, you allow them to take nothing,’” Sharpe explained. “But Kim Mulkey, instead of saying, ‘You know what, sometimes when emotion is high, logic is low. And that’s not what women’s college basketball is about. Especially, with the love and support the women’s game has received this year thanks to Caitlin Clark, thanks to USC, like JuJu Watkins, and some of the others.’ But for you to take that stance: ‘I wish Cardoso could’ve pushed Angel Reese.’ … Really?

Shannon Sharpe at the Super Bowl

Shannon Sharpe speaks on SiriusXM at Super Bowl LVIII on Feb. 7, 2024 in Las Vegas. (Cindy Ord/Getty Images for SiriusXM)


“Is that what you want? You want to see a fight? You want the women’s game to be marred by a fight? Really? C’mon Kim Mulkey. You’ve got to be better. And we’ve got to start doing a better job of holding Kim Mulkey accountable and responsible for some of her comments. We let that stuff slide because she’s a national champion. I refuse to do that. I believe she was wrong in this instance and Dawn Staley showed the utmost class and respect, not only for the game, but for her team and the opposing team.”

Staley apologized for the melee when she spoke to ESPN following the game’s end.


Dawn Staley cuts down the nets

South Carolina head coach Dawn Staley celebrates cutting the net after their win against LSU in an NCAA college basketball game at the Southeastern Conference women’s tournament final on Sunday, March 10, 2024, in Greenville, South Carolina. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)

“You know, when you’re playing in championship games like this in our league, things get heated,” she said after the game. “No bad intentions. Their emotions got so far ahead of them that, sometimes these things happen. I want to apologize for us playing a part in that.”

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