Wednesday, April 06, 2011

Schadenfreude, Yow'all

With the ending of the college basketball season and the spring football game still weeks off this would seem to be a dead time in Maryland sports. Thanks to former AD Debbie Yow that isn't the case any longer. Yow has gone from a constant source of annoyance and public relations disasters to a constant source of unintended comedy after she scurried out of town and went to Raleigh to take the same position at N.C. State. At the introductory press conference to announce the hiring of their human consolation prize Mark Gottfried after every other coach in college basketball had turned down her offer to coach the Wolfpack Yow suggested that Gary Williams had "sabotaged" the coaching search. This is what she said after being asked about her reputation for being difficult to work with:

I don't have a reputation across all of men's basketball of being difficult to work with I have a reputation of not getting along with Gary Williams, who has tried to sabotage the search. Come on. We all know that, OK? So whatever. It's not a reputation. It's Gary Williams out there doing his thing. Whatever.

 I don't know about you but the two "whatever" exclamations certainly convinced me. This is the genius of Debbie Yow. At a press conference that is supposed to introduce her new head coach, a guy who had been working at ESPN with all the other washed up coaches and athletes, instead of trying to instill some confidence in this shaky hire and drum up enthusiasm she made the story about her and Gary Williams. What Yow did was all but admit that Gottfried was not her choice to be the head coach at N.C. State and that Williams prevented her from getting the candidate she really wanted, perhaps VCU's Shaka Smart or Florida's Billy Donovan. I've written in the past that Yow seems to have an almost Nixonian level of vindictiveness and paranoia but she normally is good at hiding it. At the end of her tenure at Maryland she let it slip out too many times and it burned her but this was a true Captain Queeg moment that was at the same time spectacular, entertaining and repulsive.

For his part Gary Williams issued a statement that denied any attempts to influence the candidates for the N.C. State head coaching position.

I haven't talked to anyone — coach or athletic director — connected to the NC State search. I don't have any interest in the NC State search, since I'm coaching at Maryland and working hard to run our program. Anyone who says I've had contact with a prospective coach or athletic director regarding this search isn't being truthful.
And with the simple denial Gary Williams comes out looking better than Debbie Yow. Williams hardly needs to engage in a smear campaign against Debbie Yow. She has a well established reputation in coaching circles that, contrary to her opinion, is not good. She added to that chain link by link with her public spats over Gary Williams job performance and her failed attempts to get him fired. Now she has the audacity to try and distract Wolfpack fans from her failure to hire a high profile coach by blaming a whisper campaign from a rival coach. This pathetic excuse followed a bizarre letter sent to Wolfpack boosters the night before which all but confirmed that she had no idea where their coaching search was headed after their short list of potential hires all turned down the job. To anyone at Maryland who has heard stories about her modus operandi none of this is surprising. She has to be one of the most tone deaf athletic directors I've ever seen and that is a competitive title.

The fuse for this powder keg seems to have been lit by Yow lackey CBS Sports website columnist Gregg Doyle when he blew a gasket on a local radio show in North Carolina and accused Gary Williams of bad mouthing Yow at the Final Four in Houston and scuttling the Wolfpack coaching search. I discourage anyone from searching out Doyle's columns because his shtick is the internet equivalent of monkeys throwing scat at the zoo and to characterize him as a hack journalist would be an insult to clowns like Woody Paige and Skip Bayless. Doyle resorted to ad hominem attacks on Gary Williams instead of producing any credible evidence that Williams actually had any influence on other coached running from N.C. State like it was the plague. The fact is there are many coaches in college basketball who are friends with Williams (Tom Izzo, Coach K, Jim Boeheim, Kelvin Sampson, Rick Barnes to name a few) and his former assistants like Dave Dickerson, Jimmy Patsos, Rob Moxley and Chuck Driesell have plenty of stories to tell anyone who would ask about trying to run a basketball program under Debbie Yow. If you know how to use Goggle you'd have all the information you need.

To all Maryland fans out there who thought Debbie Yow was good for Maryland: do you get it now? I'm sure she'll have administrators and the N.C. State legal department sending out emails to Wolfpack blogs and message boards that publish something she doesn't like. Perhaps it was just a coincidence that Turtle Waxing received a cease and desist letter right after going public with my stance that Yow needed to be fired. Thank goodness that miserable shrew has moved on.


homertuck said...

What were their grounds for a cease and desist letter?

Esquire said...

Because I had the word "Terps" on the website and the image of Testudo (which wasn't accurate, but what the hey). In the letter from the legal office they also said that having advertising from a online gambling site on a site dedicated to college athletics as against NCAA regulations. Not sure how NCAA regulations apply to independent 3rd parties but okay. Then indicated that I was violating the user agreement on Blogger and they would report me to Google if I didn't take everything down. I'm in the profession so all that legal bluster didn't impress me. Haven't heard a peep since I told them where to get off.