Coach Bars Team From Locker Room - NewsChannel5.com | Nashville News, Weather & Sports

Coach Bars Team From Locker Room

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MURFREESBORO, Tenn. - The men's basketball team at Middle Tennessee State University has a state-of-the-art locker room, but the players are not allowed to use it.

Their coach locked them out of the locker room.

It's a lesson that reaches far beyond the basketball court.

Coach Kermit Davis said his basketball team has plenty of good kids, but like a parent, he occasionally has to lay down the law.

"We all parent the same way, it just so happens that it's parenting that gets on the news," he said.

He is making by banning his team, which has struggled this season on the court, from their locker room.  

They will not be able to use its theater seats, flat-panel television, computer, or see their fancy nameplates. 

"It's not about losses," Davis said. "I think it's about the passion part of it ," he said. "We're funded at a high level and I wanted the guys to appreciate how we travel and the nice locker room, so we took it away."

The team is now cramped into a small cinder-block room down the hall.  It has one bench and two showers. All of their personal belongings are crammed in garbage bags.

"We didn't know what to think," said junior Kevin Kanaskie. "They just threw all our stuff in. I have books and everything. All my stuff from my locker room is in the bag."

The punishment isn't just at the locker room level.  

Normally, during a practice, players drink Powerade.  Davis said until there's a little more passion in their play, they're only drinking water.

"There's not a coach in the country that doesn't talk to his players about appreciating what you have," he said. "All of a sudden the fame will be gone, so take advantage of it."

Advice these players will pass to their own children someday.

"If my kids don't do it, just take some of the luxuries away and make them appreciate some of the things they have," said Desmond Yates.

Davis didn't say how long the team will be locked out of their dressing room.

The team plays Saturday night against Denver.

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