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Fire Debbie Yow? Really?


Yow and Brenda Frese. (By Preston Keres - 2006 TWP photo)

In my book, the FireThisSportsPerson.com cliche has gone from amusing to overused-but-still-notable to tedious to still-funny-but-only-in-the-right circumstance. Like, FireTimDonaghy.com? Potentially funny. FireDebbieYow.com? What's the point?

Especially when the arguments in the affirmative go like this: because of a half-dozen or so men's basketball personnel issues over the past two years or so, and because she reportedly used drugs in the '60s. Not exactly the Pentagon Papers. But there's certainly passion here; as the site so eloquently puts it, "Yow wishes to secure her legacy as the AD at Maryland by hiring a big name Men's Basketball coach, but needs Williams out of the way first. By undermining Coach Williams and creating a hostile work environment, she hopes to reach her goal of being able to hire the next Head Men's Basketball Coach."

Her master plan, no doubt, involved waiting innocently in her office for the appearance of a 20-something basketball recruit with five criminal brushes, creating the perfect opportunity to craft her deviously hostile work environment by hinting her school might not want a piece of that recruit, thus plotting against a man whose irrefutable published argument in favor of the troubled recruit was "Because we take one [troubled recruit] in 19 years, we're doing something wrong here?"

As you know, the brief-but-memorable Tyree Evans-as-a-Terp saga ended last week--on the Friday afternoon before Memorial Day weekend, naturally--with the "troubled" recruit "asking out" of his commitment to Maryland. The reaction stories (Baltimore Sun, WaPo, Times-Dispatch, Washington Times) mostly treated the incident as a full stop; in other words, Evans was in, then he in SI.com, then he was only sort-of-in, and now he's out. Period. Game over. Ha.

Bloggers were willing to skip right on over to the what-comes-next department, led by FanHouse ("You simply cannot have your AD and your highest profile coach clearly not only not working together but not even keeping each other informed") and East Coast Bias ("the majority of the athletic department is in a downhill spiral and critical questions should really be asked whether Debbie Yow continues to be the right person for the job"). Here's a similarly skeptical Don Markus at the Sun:

Bobby Steinburg, [Evans's] coach at Motlow State Community College in Tennessee, told me this afternoon that Evans came to his decision without any encouragement from Gary Williams or his assistants. Don't quite believe that.

While Evans' "decision" takes some of the heat off Williams for not telling athletic director Debbie Yow that he was recruiting Evans -- at least that's what Yow said -- it now puts pressure on the admissions office to accept Maryland's other big recruit, Sean Mosley.

That's the proverbial "other shoe" to drop if Mosley, the former St. Frances star, doesn't qualify academically. The situation with Evans and Mosley reminds those who've been around the Maryland program of when Williams had Donyell Marshall and Lawrence Moten ready to sign with the Terps, only to have them rejected.

Stay tuned. This soap opera isn't over yet.

Amazingly, the Fire Debbie site's been up for four days, and the petition only has four uses of the b-word. Maybe Terps fans are turning the corner. Anyhow, as the fans turn on her (while also turning on Williams, a truly amazing dance maneuver), Yow at least has some ACC company in Virginia Tech's Jim Weaver (memorialized in these t-shirts) and N.C. State's Lee Fowler (in whose honor Fire Lee Fowler was evidently created). Meanwhile, the rest of us can concentrate on reliving the pre-Yow glory days of Maryland athletics back in the early '90s, before FireThisPerson.com had even been invented.

By Dan Steinberg  |  May 27, 2008; 9:04 AM ET
Categories:  College Basketball  
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