There’s more fallout from the brutal women’s basketball tournament in Las Vegas over Thanksgiving.
Three women’s basketball teams withdrew from an upcoming holiday tournament in Las Vegas on Monday over concerns stemming from the Las Vegas Invitational, according to The Associated Press. Dayton, Purdue and Texas A&M officially pulled out from the upcoming Las Vegas Holiday Hoops Classic, which is being run by the same group that did the Las Vegas Invitational. Instead, Purdue and Texas A&M are going to play each other separately.
“We are all about giving our players the opportunity to play the game they love,” Texas A&M coach Joni Taylor said in a statement, via The Associated Press. “Given the circumstances surrounding the Las Vegas Invitational, we decided to withdraw from the tournament. We are very thankful to Purdue for being adaptable and for allowing us to host them."
The Las Vegas Holiday Hoops Classic is set for Dec. 19-21 at South Point Arena. Campbell, Cleveland State, Jacksonville State, Lindenwood and Utah Tech will still compete.
“The five teams that are going to be at the South Point were five teams we already had,” tournament operations manager Bret Seymour said, via The Associated Press. “To be honest, our other five are happy they (the three that withdrew) aren’t there anymore because they like it as a non-Power Five event. We took those three to help. It’s OK. It’s really actually better for us because they’re not there this year for that particular event.”
The Las Vegas Invitational was awful
The Las Vegas Invitational was held in a ballroom at The Mirage hotel last month, which isn’t completely unheard of. The setup, however, was far from what was promised.
There were no scoreboards, only folding chairs for fans and no arena security.
Perhaps the biggest issue, however, came during the Auburn-Colorado State game. Auburn’s Kharyssa Richardson fell hard on her back and hit her head during that game, and needed medical attention.
Yet there were no paramedics on site — which resulted in Richardson laying on her back on the court for nearly an hour in what was a terrifying scene. MGM Resorts has since cut ties with the organizers of the event.
“Any good tournament has EMT, all of that, medical professionals on site. It wasn’t the case. Another big miss for this tournament,” Indiana head coach Teri Moren said, via the Indy Star. “There were a lot of things that should have been better, and they just weren’t. That was a little bit frustrating. If the shoe was on the other foot and that was my kid, I would be very frustrated. I was very frustrated having to watch that moment for Auburn."
While the event coordinator from the Las Vegas Invitational isn’t running the upcoming holiday tournament, Dayton, Texas A&M and Purdue just weren’t willing to take the risk after realizing the same organization is involved.