It's perhaps easy to forget, because the after-shocks were considerably more interesting than the initial tremor, but the whole Gary Williams vs. Maryland Athletics thing was set off by this comment from Gary, concerning Gus Gilchrist and Tyree Evans:
"Yeah, and it wasn't my fault that they're not here. You know, that was somebody else's call."
When asked specifically about Evans later, Gary cited the media furor over his recruitment, saying "what had been in the papers for two straight weeks was that you shouldn't make that kid come into this situation here. As soon as he breathed wrong, it would have been tough on him....He would have had to go through so much just being a student on campus after what had been said in the papers."
Well, in an interview with the appropriately named Mouthpiece Sports this week, Evans himself was asked to comment on his departure from Maryland, and he agreed with Gary. The culprit he named? Ding ding ding, it was the media's fault!
"It's not a headache for me, it's not a headache at all," Evans said of his recent reappearance in the Terps press. "I think the more headaches should come from the people that doubted me at Maryland. I know they having a good season, but I think the people--not the coaches and stuff, because they loved me and I loved them too--but I think the people in the environment and the news reporters and stuff, I think it's probably a headache for them, because they I think kind of pushed me away a little bit, like made me feel like I'm not comfortable there."
Uh. I can think of many people for whom Tyree Evans's departure caused a headache, but I'm not sure that the news reporters would be high on that list. Though this should certainly reassure the Terps fans who hate both The Post and The Sun.
"We are the voice of the athlete, we're here for you guys," the hard-hitting interviewer responded. Later, he asked specifically about the media's culpability.
"It's just like I'm grown, you know, people overcome," Evans said. "And the funniest thing about everything that goes on, everybody, the reporters, everybody that write about me or that write negatively about me act like they're perfect, like they never made no mistakes in their life. And that's what really sometimes bothers me, because everybody make mistakes, everybody is not perfect. If God made perfect people, the world would be boring, it wouldn't be exciting like how the world is right now."
I like to think the media's imperfections are actually what make the world exciting like how it is right now. Plus, a perfect economy? Booooo-rrrrring. Give me chaos and despair any day.
"Believe me, my whole life's been a mistake, you're ok with me," the hard-hitting interviewer responded.
So, the athletic department? Were any higher-ups involved in his departure? Was he ever asked to leave? "All the reporters and stuff, they judged me before they even met me," he said, but his departure "was my decision." There were, Evans said, "some people that believed in me and some people didn't believe in me, so I just backed off 'cuz of my sake."
The problem, Evans said, was "the whole Maryland Terrapin environment, the whole Maryland area I wanted to call my home. I didn't really want to have to be watched and stuff like that, because I'm a grown man and all my mistakes were made when I was a young immature teenager."
"The whole coaching staff, they loved me and I loved them," he said at the end of the interview. "They believed in me, they wouldn't offer me a scholarship if they didn't believe in me and all about me. But I don't really know what to say about the athletic department. I don't know what they said, I didn't really get no worries about what they said or nothing. I just got all my stuff just came from what I read on the internet about what the AD said and all this. You know, I just felt like it wasn't the place for me."