Maryland athletic director Jim Kehoe said yesterday the Terrapins would stop playing basketball with George Washington once the schools' current two-year contract ends.
Kehoe's announcement came on a day when his proposed four-team, season-opening basketball tournament ran into another snag.
American University, issued an invitation after GW withdrew from the event Friday, turned down the bid yesterday, leaving Kehoe wondering how he would fill the fourth spot. Navy and Georgetown have agreed to play in the tourney.
"I still think the tournament is an excellent idea," said Kehoe. "American didn't close the door completely. There may be still room to negotiate, but I think we will have to have another meeting with Georgetown and Navy to see where we want to go from here."
He was positive about his future dealings with George Washington.
"That's it, it's over," said Kehoe. "I don't feel we want to play them any more. You better believe we are done with them.
"We proposed a tournament, we thought it would be greeted with enthusiasm, and GW turns it down, Ithink it would generate a great deal of interest coming at the beginning of the season. That wasn't enough to convince GW.
"(Bob) Faris (GW athletic director) says he doesn't worry about money, that money isn't a concern to him. I envy him. I have to worry about money and this tournament would be one way to generate it."
Faris maintains, however, that a televised home game against Maryland would earn his school more money than would a two-game tournament.
GW and Maryland, which have played 54 times in basketball, have a contract for a game this year at Smith Center and one next season at Cole Field House. Maryland wanted to drop those games in favor of the tournament. But GW, which beat the Terrapins this season for the first time in 16 years, refused to rip up its contract.
Kehoe admitted that the four-team tournament was conceived as a way of correcting some major scheduling problems for Maryland.
"We have terrible problems with our schedule in January and February," he said. "When we set up our league schedule for those months, we need the flexibility to switch some days to accommodate television. I can't be locked into too many non-league games."
If Maryland could have persuaded GW to go along with Georgetown and Navy and drop regular-season games with the Terrapins in favor of the tournament, it also would have opened up one extra playing date on the Maryland schedule.
"That would mean we'd have a chance to schedule an extra game in December at Marylate on the Maryland schedule.
"That would mean we'd haveand," said Kehoe. "We could make more revenue off that game than we would by playing Navy at Capital Centre."
Meanwhile, American athletic director Bob Frailey said he turned down a tournament bid "because, under the way it is presently set up, it isn't in the best interests of AU.
"This isn't an area tip-off tournament in my mind," said Frailey who long has proposed a tournament that included the major area colleges.
"The dates of the tournament (Nov. 27-23) are particularly bothersome," he said. "Our students would be away for the Thanksgiving holiday and wouldn't be back to see the games. We never schedule home games when the students aren't in school."
Kehoe agreed with Frailey that some flexibility in tournament dates might be needed, which is why the AU athletic director said he would be receptive "to talking this over again if they come back with new dates. The door is still cracken a [WORD ILLEGIBLE]
Maryland will call another meeting to discuss the tournament. At that time, Kehoe said, it will be decided "whether to proceed or drop the whole idea."
He would not comment on whether an invitation might be issued to Catholic University of Howard both area Division I schools.
Jack Kvanez, CU athletic director and basketball coach, said that, if it didn't create any major scheduling problems, he most likely would agree to play in the tournament.
"I'd have to talk with them (tournament people) first, but this would be a plus for us," he said. "It would be good for the school, for the kids and it might make us some money. It would be great just to be on their list, although I'm sure they'd ask us only to guarantee themselves a sure win."
Howard basketball coach A. B. Williamson indicated he probably would be opposed to the Maryland tournament.
"I'd rather have an area tournament without them," he said. "They are trying to pull a fast one. Lefty is always looking out for Lefty, and you can't blame him, but I think what GW did was the right thing. We've got to stick together."