Rhonda Rompola announced Monday that she’ll be retiring as SMU women’s basketball coach after the season, ending her 25-year tenure as the Mustangs’ head coach. It’s been a good run, with seven NCAA tournament berths and a 438-314 record with three games left in the regular season.
She wasn’t shy about explaining why she’s retiring, telling the Associated Press on Wednesday that it’s because of kids these days.
“Kids are not as coachable as they were years ago,” she said. “I see kids sometimes talking back to their coaches and it’s like a way of life. I’m just being honest. The rules and everything they get, they haven’t taken time to appreciate. I was happy to have a scholarship. Kids nowadays are more concerned about when their next cost-of-attendance check is. It’s just a different world.”
This academic year is the first in which NCAA student-athletes can receive cost-of-attendance payments in addition to their athletic scholarships. The additional money is meant to cover things such as travel home, school supplies, laundry, etc. The amount given to each student-athlete varies by school, anywhere from around $1,000 per academic year to more than $6,000.
According to CBSSports, SMU student-athletes receive $2,676 per year, on average.
Suffice to say, Rompola is not a fan.
“Kids are making decisions these days to go to a college based on what their cost-of-attendance check is, based on the meals they get, not based on academics, not based on what a great school it is,” she told the AP. “I just think the direction it’s going is they are making [decisions] for the wrong reasons.
“Maybe I’m old school. It’s not necessarily what I signed up for and I’m not going to adjust my coaching to the way kids are these days. That’s how it is these days, coaches having to adjust to kids, rather than kids having to adjust to coaches.”
Rompola, 55, will spend her retirement playing golf with her husband, former SMU coach Mike Dement, according to the AP. And, one would guess, shaking her fist a whole lot.