Florida State coach Leonard Hamilton was widely criticized on Saturday night after his team’s Elite Eight loss to Michigan for what many felt was faulty late-game management. Hamilton then exacerbated the criticism by responding rudely to TBS reporter Dana Jacobson in a postgame interview.
Less than 24 hours later, Hamilton, through Florida State, released a statement on the interview and the reaction to it:
Hamilton said he was “impacted by” the “intense rush of emotions in our locker room after the game.”
He also said that he “did not initially respond to [Jacobson’s] questions as I would have liked, and she was doing her job in asking them.”
“The combination of the drama and the raw emotion of athletics and the critical analysis of it make for compelling television but not always for level-headed interviews with the participants who must immediately engage in both,” the statement continued. “I wish I could have done better.”
Jacobson had asked Hamilton about Florida State’s decision to not foul down four with 11 seconds left:
— March Madness TV (@MarchMadnessTV) March 25, 2018
“You think the game came down to the final seconds of the game?” Hamilton responded rhetorically. “The game was over.”
He certainly didn’t walk back that opinion in his statement a day later. He didn’t exactly say sorry for his conduct, either. The statement was more explanation than apology. But it was clear that Hamilton – or somebody close to him – recognized he had erred.
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