NCAA Basketball

Maryland’s Gary Williams and N.C. State’s Debbie Yow Still Fighting

| by Alex Groberman

Important Note: The only reason this story is getting any press whatsoever is because it’s that time in the sports year. The unfortunate period when every sports fan has to struggle to find meaning in life. You know, when college football and basketball are done, the NBA is standing around waiting for the playoffs, MLB is irrelevant, the NFL is non-existent and Tigers Woods isn’t good enough to make the Masters a front-page story for the two weeks leading up to it.

According to various reports, the tumultuous relationship between North Carolina State athletic director Debbie Yow and Maryland’s coach Gary Williams has taken a turn for the worst. Now, apparently, in the wake of N.C. State’s very public -- and largely unsuccessful -- search to find a new head coach, the pair has decided to rehash the bad history.

Yow, of course, spent 16 years as Maryland’s AD prior to her departure. That appears to be part of the reason she feels so emboldened when it comes time to speak on Williams whenever she needs someone to throw under the bus in order to explain her difficiult-to-work-for reputation.

During the N.C. State news conference, originally intended to introduce the press to Mark Gottfried, Yow opted to clarify why she has that particular reputation of being difficult to work with.

"I don't have a reputation across all men's basketball of being difficult to work with," she said Tuesday. "I have a reputation of not getting along with Gary Williams, who has tried to sabotage the search. Come on, we all know that. OK, so whatever.

"It's not a reputation. It's Gary Williams out there doing his thing. Whatever."

Wonderful response. Mature and well thought-out, obviously.

The AD was then asked if she had any specific examples of Williams’ misdoings.

"There'll be somebody else writing about that nationally. I don't need to be doing that. That's not my job."

Of course it isn’t.

Williams later released a statement to the Baltimore Sun saying that he hadn’t talked to any coach or AD connected to the N.C. State job hunt.

"I don't have any interest in the N.C. State search, since I'm coaching at Maryland and working hard to run our program," Williams said. "Anyone who says I've had contact with a prospective coach or athletic director regarding this search isn't being truthful."

Most folks seem to agree that the bad blood between these two stems from when Williams kind of, sort of, hung Yow out to dry after Maryland failed to secure two high profile recruits in Gus Gilchrist and Tyree Evans.

When asked about it in the media, Williams famously said:

"It wasn't my fault that they're not here. That was somebody else's call."

That, of course, was later rebuffed by the Maryland associate AD, Kathleen Worthington, who told the Baltimore Sun:  

I want to clarify the facts and the timing and the decision process of these situations. It was my recommendation that we not sign a release for Gus. I didn't want to release him. It was the head coach's decision. No one else released Gus."

Needless to say, the water has yet to pass under the bridge when it comes to Yow and Williams.