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Who's To Blame?

It would seem some of you hold strong opinions on this subject, so let's try something scientific. I want to know who you all think is most to blame for the Terps struggles this season. And I stress this season. We'll cover the broader view on a later date.

By Steve Yanda  |  January 28, 2009; 7:06 AM ET
Categories:  Men's basketball  
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Next: Crucial Misses


Certainly not a good 4 days for Terps with blowout loss at Duke, loss of a big lead at home to BC and now public bickering between Coach Williams and UMD administrators. Obviously there is lots of frustration for everyone. They do have a full 4 days off, at home, to prepare for a game with very beatable Miami. A good win would calm things down a bit.

Posted by: erniegogo | January 28, 2009 8:41 AM | Report abuse

You forgot the option for Vasquez

Posted by: JayDee1 | January 28, 2009 9:41 AM | Report abuse

I put Williams and Yow both at the top of the list.

She gets redemption by firing him...otherwise they both should go.

The overall sports program is important, but running a laughingstock basketball program is UNACCEPTABLE....

Posted by: petecard | January 28, 2009 10:05 AM | Report abuse

The current season is GW's fault first and foremost, however the behavior of the AD has made the current struggles a side show. She has shown herself to be petty, vindictive, paranoid and unprofessional, but what should we have expected from a manager who fires long time employees with a post it note?

Posted by: xfreestater | January 28, 2009 10:33 AM | Report abuse

Everyone's at fault. This program is a Cluster F right now.

From lack of talent, to some of the talent not being let into the school, to players who lack intensity and finally it would appear, as much as I hate to say it, poor preparation by the coach's, specifically GW.

I think it would be a mistake to starting firing people. But, I do think that GW and DY need to get on the same page as soon as possible. And these prima donna players need to start taking some personal repsonsibility and start playing their butts off and stop playing scared.

Posted by: Section505203 | January 28, 2009 10:55 AM | Report abuse

Blame It On The Rain...

I blame Comcast. We got a crappy company to sponsor our brand new building, and the crappyness of Comcast has oozed its way into our program.

Posted by: sargeantmofo | January 28, 2009 10:55 AM | Report abuse

I can't really blame AD Yow for the mess, other than an obvious lack of communication between her and her staff. I say this for two reasons. One, she just lost her sister (my condolences; Kay Yow was a pioneer and a class act). Two, we're still winning championships, as in women's field hockey and men's soccer. Our women's BBall team is doing great, especially picking up a big win over UNC (BTW, anyone hear from hclark1 lately?). Sure, the big money sports aren't doing too well, but our overall athletic department is still doing well.

Posted by: ecglotfelty | January 28, 2009 11:53 AM | Report abuse

If anyone caught a perfect pass from Greivas or made a layup last night in the final minutes you wouldn't have to blame anyone. Puke.

Posted by: Lee26 | January 28, 2009 11:53 AM | Report abuse

Football and BBall are the sports that matter. Not field hockey and soccer. Reality bites maybe but those are the facts. Yow has been absolutely underwhelming since she has been here. She takes some blame for sure. Regardless of family curcumstance.

Also Gary has lost most of his top assistants. Look at his bench. They are all young guys in this profession. I'm sure it has hurt recruiting and player development.

Firing Gary is asinine. He has done more for MD bball than other other person and he needs to be given the chance to turn it around on his terms. Just b/c this is Maryland bball doesn't mean that we as fans or supporters are entitled to greatness. Gary consistently wins and cares about his players. He didn't all of a sudden forget how to coach or recruit the right type of guys...

The facilities are excellent, the history is grand, the coach is a winner... so why aren't kids coming here anymore? Simply b/c of Gary Williams? I'd say he has been the constant from probation to National Title to now. What has changed in recent years around Gary to effect the program like this? That is where the answers will be found.

Posted by: unkonchus | January 28, 2009 12:06 PM | Report abuse

This is why Gary cannot recruit, because he is a drunk and a joke:

Posted by: peteywheatstraw | January 28, 2009 12:35 PM | Report abuse

This is why Gary cannot recruit, because he is a drunk and a joke:

Posted by: peteywheatstraw | January 28, 2009 12:36 PM | Report abuse

Its Yow, the associate AD, and the media. If MD fires Gary this program will die completely and lose a lot of fans with him.

Posted by: beas13 | January 28, 2009 1:00 PM | Report abuse

Anyone that is true fan of Maryland and not Gary will be happy to see him go. The fact that Maryland year after year has the lowest graduation rates in the country is embarrassing and kills our recruiting.

Debbie Yow did a great job hiring Coach Fridge and Brenda Friese, and the soccer program under Sasho who has been at Maryland longer than Gary has only gotten better under her watch.

The basketball team sucks because of Gary and the lousy players he recruits. Can anyone truthfully argue that Dave Neal is a starting center in the ACC.

Posted by: peteywheatstraw | January 28, 2009 1:10 PM | Report abuse

When your starting lineup is four guards and a forward, you are NOT going to beat anybody in a high level conference like the ACC, much less a lower lever D-1 Conference. In fact, you won't beat many Little League Basketball teams either. This go back to recruiting and back at Gary Williams' feet. In the words of a former famous coach, The Terps are who I thought they were this year [THEY STINK](It is ashame that the media is just now starting to really catch on to this.).

Posted by: ejharrisjr40 | January 28, 2009 1:21 PM | Report abuse

GW won a national championship. Assuming no NCAA violations, he should stay thru the end of his contract. He & Debbie should make peace & consider this a rebuilding year. Hire an assistant who can recruit.

Posted by: dhenken1 | January 28, 2009 1:23 PM | Report abuse

It's unfortunate. Gary has done SO MUCH for this program. But, he either does not want to recruit or is terrible at it. Either way, if it does not improve dramatically, it may be time to look elsewhere. When you look at the top players/recruits, they don't even have MD on their radar. Gary needs to explain why, without references his NC and that he resurrected this program from the dead - we get that and thank him for that. But the fans need to know that the program is going in the right direction - and it is not. It's on a steady decline since the NC.

Posted by: BulletsFan1 | January 28, 2009 1:28 PM | Report abuse

The lack of big man is what is killing the terps this season. The reason they do not have one this year is because Yow would not get on board with the waiver for sitting out an extra year when transferring with in the ACC. From what I heard Gary was told she would go along with the waiver but then changed her mind right before the vote. Once the ACC waiver did not go through for Gilchrest and he had to sit one more year he wanted out of MD. What you do if it looked like the coach lied to you?

Posted by: RMartin658 | January 28, 2009 1:59 PM | Report abuse

Does Gary have a drinking problem or are the posts just rumors

Posted by: mrpjs1976 | January 28, 2009 2:00 PM | Report abuse

If Debbie Yow is smart when she return's from her sister's funeral(my sympathy Ms.Yow)she should sit down with GW and map out a plan so that she and her staff and Gary and his staff are on the same page because finger pointing and accusations only undermine the program, short of that make a pitch for Jim Laranaga or maybe Eddie Jordan.

Posted by: dargregmag | January 28, 2009 2:03 PM | Report abuse

I hate saying anything nice about anyone that ever attended duke but the best thing for the Terps is to hire Jeff Capel from Ok. State. He knows the ACC, he coached at VCU for a few years so he understands the area, and he is a young and dynamic recruiter.

Posted by: peteywheatstraw | January 28, 2009 2:15 PM | Report abuse

Get real. I have had 4 kids who have played Div. 1 sports, 3 at major (ACC, Big 10, WAC) conferences and one in a low Div 1. During the recruitment process our family hardly heard from any of the ADs. Everything was handled by the assistant coaches and head coach. When Debbie Yow came in MD was a mess, it had a huge budget deficit, coaches under siege and expose' after expose' by the local media. She balanced the budget, lobbied the State for funding and built a much better fundraising organization. She has helped make Maryland athletics one of the best overall programs in the country. She may communicate better, but there is not an AD in the Country who is better.

Gary has always depended on his assistants to recruit. The good one have moved on or they have become tired of Gary's antics. The assistants he has now are not experienced enough to recruit well, yet. The knock on Gary was that he dialed back after 2002 and spends more time on the golf course than ever. The assistants who put the teams together in the early part of the decade are gone. Gary has to deal with the admissions department at MD, which is tougher than many other schools for athletes (Virginia, UConn, Syracuse for example). That doesn't include the schools that have no standards besides the NCAA, which are a joke. It is Gary's fault for not seeing the problems and issues and planning a solution. There are always going to be obstacles, it is the good coach and staff that finds a way to deal with them and be successful. There is not many coaches who are better coaches than Gary, his teams generally hustle and work hard.

That said, the players he now has are mediocre, not a single one of them is a true NBA player. Vasquez plays like he does in HS. He doesn't play smart consistently and when confronted by better or players who are just as quick throws up trash. Bowie is the same, they play the Montrose Christian way, mediocre decisions and hope they are bigger, faster or quicker than their opponents to win. I am sure Gary has told them what to do, but it is up to the player to carry it out under pressure. If Gary had a true point guard who has leadership abilities, the team would be respectable, but he doesn't.

All said, maybe it is time for Gary to retire, he has done a lot at Maryland, resurrecting a program that was dead; so dead that the NCAA has never dealt out the same punishment Maryland was given more much more serious offenses by other schools.

Posted by: skyr2 | January 28, 2009 2:16 PM | Report abuse

This has become a side show.

Gary Williams is the pillar of Maryland Athletics. There is no Debbie Yow without GW. Forget Debbie Yow, forget the Assistant AD. Gary Williams could spit rum at his players and I would applaud him. He's a great coach and perhaps not the avid recruiter he should be. He plays out his contract and gracefully bows out.

Posted by: ianharte | January 28, 2009 2:19 PM | Report abuse

First and foremost it is Yow. MD is a mediocre athletic school in a fertile region for students. It is a travesty that MD has lost all of its momentum in the two major sports. 1. Football and 2. Basketball, both coaches have done a TERRIBLE job at recruiting especially in light of the momentum that was built up in both programs.

1. Gary, is absolutely not a good recruiter and the idea that he takes a Juan Dixon and is going to mold him into a player is laughable. Of course, you get lucky sometimes but Mike Jones was the same player as a freshman as he was as a senior. Gilchrist was the last real point guard we had. MD can not run the trap defense anymore because they are slow and un-athletic. Nothing in his recruiting has changed that.

Posted by: vegastate11 | January 28, 2009 2:43 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, its time for GW to move on. Whatever formula he used to lift the Terps out of the basement before isn't working now. Sometimes you just have to clean house and start fresh. Potential recruits need to see a new direction.

Yow gets a pass because other Maryland sports under her watch are doing quite well. Even football, which may have leveled-off a bit, is far from the joke it once was when I was in College Park. GW is responsible for just one sport, BB, and he's driving it into the ground.

Of course, we thank him for winning the national championship. But if any of the other elite, championship-winning ACC schools suddenly dropped out of the NCAA tournament for several years in a row, there would be a coaching change--no question.

Posted by: youba | January 28, 2009 4:39 PM | Report abuse

...great post from skyr2...agree totally ... responsibility is in GW's court

Posted by: bobeaston | January 28, 2009 4:54 PM | Report abuse

maybe i don't get it but how does the AD impact the product on the court/field? If Yow was the problem Williams would have left on his own years ago, or leaked to the media his number of problems or issues. How can you folks blame the AD for the lack of talent on the court?

I will say I am amazed players don't get into MD academically and go to other universities. it was good to get clarification on the issue with Tyree Evans, but if Gary wanted him he would have stayed.

Posted by: oknow1 | January 28, 2009 5:29 PM | Report abuse

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