The Washington Post

Tom Penders on Gary Williams and cheating


During a Tuesday appearance with WJFK’s Junkies, Penders several times heralded Maryland’s coach for not cheating, and for speaking truth to AAU power.

“AAU baskeball has been the real curse to coaches and the recruiting process, and I think Gary Williams is the only active coach who’s had an open discussion about it,” Penders said. “And I have great admiration for Gary in doing that, but it’s probably hurt him with these AAU [coaches]....

“Gary and I are very much alike in that regard,” Penders continued. “He’s never taken a walk on the wild side. He’s always done it the right way, the straight way, and that’s why Maryland’s had no violations or investigations or anything of that nature. And often, the fans don’t understand that and they take him for granted, but there are a lot of guys that have taken that walk on the wild side, risking $2 million a year careers because they have to win. They don’t feel that they can coach their way to winning, they believe that they have to cheat their way to winning. It’s like the poker player that sits down with the ace up his sleeve. And we all know who they are. We all talk. We know what happens in the recruiting process....

“Any coach that speaks out in favor of AAU basketball in my book is cheating. He’s involved with the AAU process, he’s involved with these middle people. I mean, Gary, I can’t tell you how much I admire him, because he’s telling it like it is, and he really is the only coach in America that’s doing that.”

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

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