Duke's Women Basketball Coach Kara Lawson Makes Shocking Claim

Duke’s Women’s Basketball Coach Kara Lawson Makes Shocking Claim: Was a Men’s Ball Used During the 1st Half of a Game?

Following the Blue Devils’ game against Florida State, Duke’s women’s basketball head coach Kara Lawson claimed a men’s ball was used in the first half of the game.

After her team’s 53-44 win over Pittsburgh, the coach relayed to reporters that her players were “complaining about the ball” throughout the first half of the game against Florida State.

The difference between the balls is most notable through size and circumference: a women’s ball is 28.5 inches in circumference and weighs around 20 ounces, whereas a men’s ball is 29.5 inches in circumference and weighs 22 ounces. These numbers are quite significant, which caused officials to switch the ball at halftime.

According to Lawson, a large reason for her team losing to Florida was due to the men’s ball fiasco. “They beat us playing with a men’s ball in the first half and a women’s ball in the second half,” she said, per Yahoo! Sports. “But I can’t say if we’d have played with a women’s ball in the first half and the second half that we would have won. But they can’t say that, either.”

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Both schools rank as AP Top 25 teams, Duke ranking at No. 16 and Florida State at No. 23. Since the game occurred at a critical time in the season and affected the team’s opportunity to advance, Lawson believes this game should’ve been re-evaluated.

“To have a game that, at the end of the season, could be the difference between a seed, between a title, my players don’t deserve that, and neither do their players,” Lawson explained. “It’s a complete failure. And you can figure out who the people I’m talking about that failed the sport and our players and both teams.”

Kara Lawson’s request for an investigation was denied by the ACC

The head coach noted that she requested the ACC appeal the game, to which her request was denied. In response, the organization cited a rule where players must confirm the correct ball size before tipoff. Additionally, the ACC stated there was no evidence to support Lawson’s claims.

“Following the thorough and objective review process, there was no evidence found to support the claim. Per NCAA playing rules, there is no appeal or protest process,” deputy commissioner and chief of external affairs Amy Yakola shared in a statement.

She added, “The conference office considers this matter to be closed and will have no further comment.”

Following this statement’s release, Lawson was undoubtedly frustrated by the outcome. In fact, she expressed disappointment over the “disrespect” that her players and team faced.

“The lack of accountability is striking. When you make a mistake, you own it, and you own it right away. You don’t pass the buck. It’s what I teach my players every day,” the coach stated. “I’m not perfect, but I admit when I’m making a mistake, and the mistake was made here, and it’s a big one.”

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