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Kim Mulkey, head coach of the Baylor Lady Bears, just recently returned to the sideline after a bout with COVID-19. After the team’s game on Saturday, Mulkey didn’t hold back when she was asked whether she’s worried about the season being finished amid the pandemic. She criticized the NCAA for putting revenue before the health of players and said that she feels uncomfortable coaching during a pandemic.
"The answer is this: The season will continue on. It's called the almighty dollar," Mulkey said via ESPN. “The NCAA has to have the almighty dollar from the men's tournament. The almighty dollar is more important than the health and welfare of me, the players or anybody else.
"One conference does this, one conference does that. The CDC says this. Everybody is confused. I'm confused. I'm uncomfortable coaching. I understand, COVID is real. I've had it — come talk to me sometime. But I don't know ... all the calls and procedures, that's gonna go on and make it unusual, uncomfortable for every program. We're no different at Baylor."
Mulkey had been away from the team for more than three weeks after being exposed to COVID-19 on Christmas Day. She tested negative three times leading up to Baylor’s Jan. 2 game, but decided to continue to quarantine since it was still possible that she could have the virus. It was a wise decision, because Mulkey tested positive on Jan. 4 as she was preparing to return to the team. Team activities were immediately put on pause and two games were postponed.
Saturday’s game was the team’s first since Jan. 2 and Mulkey’s first since Dec. 19. They were only able to practice once before taking the court and were missing two important players. Both those issues likely contributed to their 75-71 loss to Iowa State, which snapped Baylor’s streak of 61 straight home wins and 58 straight conference wins.
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