Griner to return to Baylor next year

  • April 4, 2012 - 12:12 AM

Brittney Griner made it clear, way in advance: No matter what happened Tuesday in the NCAA championship game against Notre Dame, she's returning to Baylor for her senior season.

While most male college basketball stars of Griner's caliber would have left for the NBA after their freshman year, the 6-8 phenom will stay to earn her degree.

"I'm staying, I made a commitment," Griner said. "I'm going to stay here until my time's up, so all the speculations of me leaving early are false."

Staying in school is the norm for marquee women's college players. Diana Taurasi of the Phoenix Mercury and Maya Moore of the Lynx played all four years.

One big reason: The money offered to female players, whether in the United States or even abroad, just isn't on the same scale as what men can earn.

While women players certainly would appreciate better pay in the pro ranks, they are more likely to graduate. An annual report released in March by the University of Central Florida's Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sport found players from the women's teams in the NCAA tournament graduated at an overall rate of 89 percent, compared with 67 percent for the men.

Texas coach named

Former Texas women's basketball assistant Karen Aston is taking over the Longhorns with a mission to turn the program back into a national championship contender.

Aston, the coach at North Texas last season, was introduced at a campus news conference on Tuesday after a whirlwind courtship in which she was the only candidate interviewed on campus.

And she left no doubt about her expectations:

"I expect to go to the Final Four," she said. "I'm thrilled to be back."

Aston, 47, succeeds Gail Goestenkors, who resigned March 20 after the Longhorns failed to advance past the first round of the NCAA tournament for the fourth year in a row.

Auburn coach all set

New Auburn women's basketball coach Terri Williams-Flournoy says taking the job was an easy decision.

She was introduced before a couple of hundred fans at Auburn Arena, saying "it's unbelievable what we can do with women's basketball in here."

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