So that Gary Williams-Debbie Yow thing became a big enough story to lead ESPN’s Outside the Lines on Wednesday. Sure, it’s a slow time of year, but when the former Maryland AD accuses the current Maryland coach of sabotaging another ACC school, people care.
And more voices have since chimed in. Here are a few.
Scott Van Pelt, on ESPN 980: “I don’t know what to say. I’ve never seen it before. I think you completely marginalized Mark Gottfried, and I think it’s remarkable that you’d say that. The Gregg Doyel piece of it, I think she was expecting an article to be coming. My understanding [is] I don’t think that’s coming. I don’t know why you’d ever say something like that. If you think that you were gonna get Rick Barnes or Sean Miller or somebody like that and you didn’t because Gary Williams told him not to go, then you’re out of your mind.
“But whatever. She marginalizes her coach and I think doesn’t really honor herself in the process. I know the Maryland fan base, there are those that are critical of different portions of Gary, his record after the championship, yada yada yada, but I do believe that what this speaks to is the enormous respect that he has in and around the coaching fraternity and those that cover the sport of basketball. I haven’t heard one person, not ONE, who would suggest that this makes sense....
“There are a lot of stories about what went on at Maryland when she was there, and not many of them saw the light of day. I wonder if the lid will be lifted on that....
“I don’t know that any [championship-winning] coach swam upstream as much as Gary had to at Maryland. And if people think it’s a Gary thing, go out to College Park or call up Ralph Friedgen and ask him how that went. There’s a laundry list. But again, it’s neither here nor there. You wish her and N.C. State well. I just found it remarkable. I’ve never seen anything quite like that.”
John Feinstein, on Comcast SportsNet: “First of all, does she really think that Gary Williams had to make any phone calls for people to know that the two of them didn’t get along for 16 years? I mean, that was the worst kept secret since the break in at Watergate, for crying out loud.
“But beyond that, you’re sitting there, you’re introducing your new coach, and you say Gary Williams sabotaged my search? That’s like saying, hey, this is the best I could do, because Gary Williams was calling around. And Mark Gottfried has got to be sitting there thinking, you know what, Gary Williams may have been right, if this is the kind of thing my new boss is saying....
“I mean, I’ve never made any bones about the fact that I like and respect Gary Williams, and I didn’t get along with Debbie Yow much better than he did, so take everything I say with a grain of salt here. Having said that, Gary Williams is one of the most respected people in college basketball. Everybody jokes about his temper and his screaming,but he’s still one of the most respected coaches in the game. And when you take on one of the most respected coaches in the game when you are in the process of hiring the first basketball coach you’ve ever hired, I don’t think you put yourself in a great position.”
Doug Gottlieb, ESPN Radio: “There’s also the perception that she cares as much or more about women’s basketball than she does men’s basketball. And if you really want truths, the truth is that guys don’t want to coach for a female athletic director who likes women’s college basketball as much or more as men’s college basketball. Fact. Point of fact.
“The other thing no one’s saying is that though Gary Williams may in her mind have sabotaged her search, the biggest thing that sabotages her search is that Roy Williams and Mike Krzyzewski are in the same eight-mile radius as her school. So in addition to not wanting to work for her, not wanting to work for somebody who likes women's athletics as much as men’s athletics, they don’t want to have to coach four times a year against two Hall of Famers who are in their prime and their programs are rolling.”
I’d be more than happy to post a Debbie defense if anyone can find one.