Connecticut coach Geno Auriemma, disappointed by a half-empty arena for Tuesday's home NCAA tournament game, says his team's fans have been spoiled by years of the Huskies' dominance in women's college basketball.
"I think it's probably natural. I guess we need to win more," Auriemma said after UConn advanced to its 18th straight Sweet 16 with a 64-40 win over Purdue in the second round of the NCAA tournament. "Everybody loves a winner, you know."
"Maybe we should offer free parking, more giveaways," he added. "We should let some of the fans coach the team, maybe a guest coach every quarter."
Auriemma's comments came after an announced crowd of 5,729 watched the last home game of star Maya Moore's college career. That's a little more than half of the 10,027-seat capacity at Gampel Pavilion, the school's on-campus basketball facility.
UConn has won 112 of its past 113 games -- with the lone loss, on Dec. 30 against Stanford, snapping a 90-game winning streak -- and the past two Division I national championships.
"We have a spoiled group of fans who assume we are going to win, who assumed we would be in Philadelphia [for the regionals] and be at the Final Four," Auriemma said. "We had the season, the Big East in Hartford and now the NCAA tournament. You are asking them to do a lot. So I think we don't bid on [hosting the NCAA first round] for five years."
Pat McKenna, a spokesman for the team, said Wednesday that Auriemma was serious about asking not to host the tournament, but had not yet spoken to athletic director Jeff Hathaway about it.
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.