The Washington Post

John Thompson Jr. responds to Kevin Anderson

Remember when Maryland AD Kevin Anderson said he was having “a serious conversation” with Georgetown AD Lee Reed about scheduling a men’s basketball home-and-home? And when Reed then said talks were “far too preliminary” to be in the newspaper?

Well, John Thompson Jr. has weighed in, and he sides with Reed, if you can believe that.

When he was told about Anderson’s comments on his ESPN 980 radio show this week, the former Georgetown coach laughed. Then he started talking.

“Now, lemme ask you, this Kevin Anderson, is he new in town?” Thompson asked. “First thing he gonna find out that this ain’t Army, ok? And secondly, why would he say in the newspaper something that both of them, if they are doing it, ought to be saying together? Why would you say you’re in serious discussions, knowing the history of what has happened in that relationship?....

“And I understand, if they are [negotiating], fine. But I’m gonna tell you something, the AD at Maryland is not the person that schedules for Georgetown. And I could not understand — if it were me now — I would have to find out why Georgetown would ever permit the AD of Maryland to make that announcement if they were doing it....

“But what irritates me when I hear something like that, is well why would anybody, knowing the history of the relationship -- other than to try to get attention for himself -- make that kind of announcement in the newspaper? Why would you do it? I mean, does that make sense to you? Let me just tell you something, the ADs don’t make the damn schedule at Georgetown, Ok? Let me make that very clear. They approve it, ok? And at any other school in the country. At Duke they don’t make the schedule, at North Carolina they don’t make the schedule, ok?...

“And [JTIII] has the prerogative to do whatever he wants to do, and if he’s gonna do it, fine. If somebody is trying to do that, that’s fine, I have no problem with it, but that seems to me like a grandstand move, like all of the sudden I came in town and I solved a problem. Don’t startle me with that, because I don’t want to influence the outcome. I don’t want to jump in and influence the outcome of it.

“But that’s what the problem has been, you don’t do scheduling in the newspaper, you do scheduling with each other. It’s inappropriate to do scheduling in the newspaper. But I do think if it was gonna happen, I would have had a hint of it....

“Let me tell you something, the thing that he has done that his father would never do — and I respect him for it and he’s done it extremely well — is that boy will play anybody, and he’s done that. So it ain’t based on whether you think you would win or lose, because he had the second-toughest schedule in the country, and he went to some places to play some folks there ain’t no way in hell his daddy would have gone.

“But what I resent when I hear something like that is it seems just what you said, a ploy to think you’re gonna put pressure on people to do something. I don’t care if he’s friends with Lee Reed or not. Go play golf and go have a good time, go to a party, go to a disco, that’s what friends do. But competitors use good common sense in what they do, and you don’t negotiate through the damn newspaper.”

Dan Steinberg writes about all things D.C. sports at the D.C. Sports Bog.


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