On Feb. 19, 2012, colleague Liz Clarke reported on a closed-door edict inside the Maryland athletics department, issued by Athletic Director Kevin Anderson. In the wake of his denied attempts to schedule Georgetown in men’s basketball, Anderson decided the Terrapins wouldn’t face the Hoyas in any sport until the issue gets resolved. “We think that across the board, if we’re going to play people — particularly somebody in our own region — they should be able and willing to play us in everything,” Anderson said at the time. “If we could sit down and talk about it, and have a good dialogue, we’re more than happy to pursue other avenues. But we want to play Georgetown in all sports.”
In the two-plus years since, the not-so-private ban on scheduling Georgetown has held true for most Maryland sports, though little time has passed to make a true mark. Of Maryland’s 11 team sports that schedule head-to-head matchups, only field hockey has scheduled the Hoyas for a regular season game, wrecking them 9-0 in College Park last October. (Georgetown uses Maryland’s field hockey facilities for its home games, so if any team were to schedule Georgetown first, this makes sense.) Men’s soccer last faced Georgetown in the fall of 2012 during the NCAA tournament. Otherwise, no sport has played the Hoyas since the ban was issued.
Then last Friday, word came that Coach Sasho Cirovski and the Maryland men’s soccer team would play Georgetown on Sept. 30 at home, a rematch of the 2012 national semifinals. The women’s soccer team, which has never faced the Hoyas in the regular season, will play them in an exhibition in the fall of 2015, according to a Georgetown spokesperson.
So, has the ban been revoked? Might this open the door for scheduling Georgetown in other sports like, say, men’s basketball?
“We support our programs scheduling athletic competition against Georgetown,” a Maryland spokesperson said, stopping short of hedging against declaring the curtain lifted. Basically, the spokesperson said, if individual teams want to schedule Georgetown, they are free to do so.
In men’s basketball, coaches John Thompson III and Mark Turgeon are friends who have maintained an open dialogue about renewing a rivalry that hasn’t featured a scheduled, non-tournament regular season game since 1993. Though the newly minted Gavitt Tipoff Games, an early-season basketball series between the Big East and Big Ten, could force something the coaches have clearly been mulling over for some time.
“There’s a chance,” Turgeon said last February on an ESPN podcast. “John and I go way back. And I did work with [Thompson’s brother] Ronny. I’ve got a lot of respect for John, he’s doing a great job this year with his team. I like watching them play. I hope we can get it started in the future. When we first got here, John and I talked a little bit, but that’s between me and him. But we do have a relationship. I think it’d be great for the area if we could get it done. But we’ll see. We’ll see as we move forward.”
In women’s basketball, an individual with knowledge of the situation said, the Terps will not have Georgetown on their upcoming schedule, which will be released soon. The two sides have faced 11 times in that sport, last in 2011-12. Neither volleyball (57 matches all-time, last in 2010-11) nor field hockey (17 meetings, last in 2013-14) have the Hoyas on their fall slates, and the spokesperson said it was too soon to know whether other sports like men’s lacrosse (12 times, last in 2012), baseball (79 times, last in 2004) or softball (eight times, last in 2011) will buck the trend during next spring.