Gary Williams has seen better days. Barring a turnaround of Herculean proportions, his Maryland Terrapins will miss the NCAA tournament for the fourth time in five seasons. Maryland, 13-7 overall and 2-4 in the Atlantic Coast Conference, has lost to lowly Morgan State and was drilled Saturday by Duke, 85-44.
Williams and his boss, athletic director Debbie Yow, do not get along, and tensions between the coach and other superiors are mounting.
The latest boiling point centers on Gus Gilchrist and Tyree Evans, players who were released from the program. When asked Monday about why they were no longer Terrapins, Williams blamed the administration. "It wasn't my fault that they're not here. That was somebody else's call," he said.
After reading Williams' quote, senior associate athletic director Kathy Worthington said: "It was my recommendation that we not sign a release for Gus. I didn't want to release him. It was the head coach's decision. No one else released Gus."
As for Evans, Williams said: "Gary made the final decision to withdraw an offer of aid to Tyree and personally called the Office of Student Affairs to inform them he was no longer recruiting Tyree Evans because Tyree had not disclosed all of the criminal issues he'd had in his past. Gary became upset that Tyree hadn't disclosed everything."
Jeff Barker of the Baltimore Sun wrote: "Clearly, Gary felt challenged and perhaps unappreciated. He said Kathy Worthington, the senior associate athletic director who questioned some of Gary's statements about the recruits, 'has never won a national championship.' "
Gilchrist is averaging 10.8 points and five rebounds for South Florida. Evans is averaging 13 points and 2.3 rebounds for Kent State. So what's the big deal about losing players with pedestrian statistics? John Feinstein of the Washington Post wrote, "Arguing about Gus Gilchrist and Tyree Evans is like arguing over whose job it is to lock the door when the house is on fire."
Feinstein adds: "It is up to Williams to find the players who can put out the fire. It is up to Yow and everyone else at Maryland to not fan the flames."