(Credit: WAFB Channel 9)

The highly anticipated Washington Post story that Kim Mulkey had predicted would be a “hit piece” by a “sleazy reporter,” the story that led her to threaten to sue the paper, finally published Saturday morning.

It turned out to be a profile piece covering the colorful LSU women’s basketball coach’s life and career and not a hit piece at all.

Written by Kent Babb, the article is lavish with praise of Mulkey at times, calling her, “a hoops whisperer, an exceptional teacher, a coach willing to dive deeply into players’ emotions to push them past their preconceived limits. She is also one of college basketball’s most colorful personalities …”

On the other hand, the article captured Mulkey’s ornery side, and pointed out other attributes that have made her as controversial as she is successful.

“She explodes at officials and is suspicious of reporters,” Babb wrote. “She is also known to hold grudges and clash with players, including about their appearances and displays of their sexuality, according to interviews with former players and news reports.”

The article reported one former player for Mulkey in her previous coaching post at Baylor saying Mulkey’s attitude toward her changed when the coach found out she was gay.

“She made my life hell,” Kelli Griffin told The Post.

When rumors surfaced last week the paper was preparing to publish a story on Mulkey, she used an NCAA Tournament press conference to address the issue, threatening legal action. And the article addresses specific information her attorneys shared with the paper before publication.

“Mulkey’s attorneys, in letters to The Post, denied that Mulkey treated gay players “more harshly or differently,” Babb wrote. “They provided an affidavit from former Baylor player Morghan Medlock, who said that she was in a relationship with Griffin and that she never witnessed Mulkey mistreat Griffin or other gay athletes.”

Mulkey’s attorneys also contacted the paper to share her criticism for Babb contacting her family members for the story, claiming they did not “relate in any way to her career.” Part of the article relates Mulkey’s estrangement with her father, but she had already covered that topic in a 2007 autobiography, Won’t Back Down.

There were other issues that Mulkey’s attorneys addressed. Regarding her alleged criticism of players for gaining weight, Mulkey’s attorneys “said the former players’ allegations were too vague to respond to.”

In all, the WaPo story’s coverage of Mulkey’s faults could have been found in a profile on any coach who’s been on the job almost a quarter-century. She snaps at officials, criticizes players, is cantankerous with the media. The story was definitely not the “hit piece” Mulkey had predicted.

The Athletic’s Nicole Auerbach summed it up nicely: “The Washington Post’s Kim Mulkey story is out. It is a very in-depth profile of her, and it is exactly what I expected it to be. Nothing explosive.”

Other X/Twitter users agreed the article certainly didn’t meet the “hit piece” criteria.

[The Washington Post]

About Arthur Weinstein

Arthur spends his free time traveling around the U.S. to sporting events, state and national parks, and in search of great restaurants off the beaten path.