South Carolina’s Dawn Staley has hilarious grammar question for media after Final Four post on X

Dawn Staley came to Cleveland this week not just with the hope of leading her South Carolina women’s basketball team to an undefeated season and a national championship, but with something just as pressing — questions about grammar.

As Staley met with the assembled media Thursday for her news conference ahead of the Gamecocks’ Final Four game Friday against NC State, she explained a predicament in which she had just found herself.

Minutes earlier, Staley posted a video on X, the social media platform formerly known as Twitter, of her South Carolina players resting and relaxing in the team’s locker room at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse, along with the caption “Get your mats ready … you don’t have to sleep but you have to lie down.”

Sitting before a group of writers, Staley had a question — did she use the correct verb?

“Our players were in the locker room lying or laying down?” she asked.

Whatever fears Staley had of a mistake were assuaged when she was informed that it is, in fact, lying down. Lay is transitive and requires an object to act upon — like laying a book on the table — while lie is intransitive and describes an object moving on its own or already in position, like someone lying down for a nap.

Staley said she was taught the different in a slightly different way.

“I told our coaches someone told me you lie to get laid, right?” Staley said, to much laughter.

South Carolina enters the Final Four with a 36-0 record. A national championship would not only be the Gamecocks’ third, all of which have come since 2017, but it would make them the first undefeated national champions in Division I women’s basketball since UConn in 2016.

Earlier this week, Staley won her third consecutive Naismith College Coach of the Year award.

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