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Debbie Yow defends her handling of relationships with Gary Williams and Ralph Friedgen

Following her introductory press conference as North Carolina State's new athletic director on Friday, Debbie Yow was asked whether she thought that her accomplishments in College Park would be overshadowed in any way by the strained relationships she had with men's basketball coach Gary Williams and, more recently, football coach Ralph Friedgen.

According to multiple high-ranking donors, Yow attempted -- and failed -- to raise the funds necessary to buy out the contracts of Williams and Friedgen within the past two years.

"I'm going to let someone else decide that," Yow said. "Two weeks ago I nominated Gary for the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame. That's done. It's in. It took a while to get it done because I wanted to nail it, because you don't get to go back and have another chance. And about 10 days ago, I asked the campus to -- there's a committee on campus, the committee on naming opportunities, to consider, I submitted a formal request to add his name to the Comcast ]Center] floor. So I don't know. Is that something that you do if you're having a spat? I don't know. It just doesn't seem to fit.

"Accountability is not a dirty word. It's a good word. So yes, if we're going 2-10 I'm going to be concerned, and I'm going to say so. I don't know if that's a spat. That's just an AD doing what she should be doing. And I'm going to care about graduation rates. And I will remind you that I'm so proud of Coach Williams. Last year, 100 percent, this year 100 percent and on board next year, all the juniors are in place to go 100 percent. Three years in a row. Turned the corner."

By Steve Yanda  |  June 25, 2010; 3:49 PM ET
Categories:  Men's basketball  
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Posted by: dbrine1261 | June 25, 2010 4:27 PM | Report abuse

i thought that would be mopre fun

Posted by: dbrine1261 | June 25, 2010 4:27 PM | Report abuse

In the end. The coaches will be remembered for the wins and the AD will simply not be remembered at all, but in the near term, for all her successes she will be remembered for the AD that tried to stab Gary Williams in the back on multiple occasions. Coach Friedgen deserved to be fired. Not because his coach in waiting has bonus tied to his contract, but because Maryland Football has been pathetic for a long time and it isn't getting better soon. It is much easoer to turn a basketball team around becauase one guy can make such an impact, but Football takes a long time to rebuild. Ralph has never won with his own recruits. Only Vanderlindens. That is a problem. Butone worthy of simply being dismissed, not having your AD go behind your back to try and raise 2 million to pay you off. AD is a tough job and economic times do dictate things sometimes when you give long term contracts but this was not the right way. I wonder how the coaches at NC State are feeling right now knowing that is her MO?

Posted by: dbrine1261 | June 25, 2010 4:33 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: marylandmymaryland | June 25, 2010 4:34 PM | Report abuse

I thing she made some honest comments there - not blowing smoke.

She is right about 2-10. Note that "according to multiple high-ranking donors" which means 2 people who sent some cash back, she approached THEM on raising cash for GW's buyout???Don't think buying him out was ever an option to her. She may be disliked. but she's certainly not stupid. And I think that she is genuinely pleased about the turn-around in graduation rates for his players - she probably felt every bit as criticized as he did on the one-grad-in-how-many-years stat (was it Grinnon or Badu?) that has been bandied about. Her "doesn't seem to fit" could be countered with a "what took you so long?" pretty easily, but getting it done BEFORE she left is much better than not having done it all - maybe she did not want her successor to snag such a slam dunk easy win. I really have a hard time caring that she's gone either way. That said, perhaps she was the right person at the time for the institution and benefitted from some of the plans and deals that were in place as well as a great BB coach. And perhaps it was best for the program at this point to look elsewhere for an AD.

Does she get as much credit as Mike Grinnon for the 2002 NC? Or how about Darius Henry who was NOT on the squad but was showing up for practices and was added to the squad the following year as a walk-on (who apparently did NOT graduate)?

Answer it if you can. How important was she for that one particular shining moment? Because I do think her contributions towards the success of the soccer program probably outweigh the contributions of a practice regular for that team. Maybe not.

Regards -


Posted by: HughGRection | June 25, 2010 4:35 PM | Report abuse

Was I righ about Darrius Henry getting a scholarship the year after the NC?

Regards -


Posted by: HughGRection | June 25, 2010 4:38 PM | Report abuse

Blah, blah, blah. She should just shut up and we can all put her time at Maryland behind us.

Time to get serious about basketball and football.

Posted by: petecard | June 26, 2010 10:48 AM | Report abuse

I have been around UMD for about 40 years---so I have seen alot come and go. MD has been very lucky to have had Mrs Yow running the show for the past 16 years. May I direct your attention to her predecessor--Mr Lew Perkins---who is now on the hot seat at Kansas for the same damn thing that nearly cost MD everything during the Bob Wade mess--lack of institutional control!! Mrs Yow drew a little bit off of the great work Andy Geiger did at MD during his short stay---creating first class facilities to help our coaches recruit. Her battles with GW and RF are quite justified. GW is a great coach and if it weren't for him we might be an afterthought in hoops. But he wasn't winning and the players weren't graduating---the boss was trying to hold him accountable--and she should!! RF hasn't done too well here of late and is't graduating enough guys either. But it isn't all of his fault because MD can't decide if it wants to be Penn or Penn St in football. So now the whole thing comes to a crossroads--new President, new AD. RF better hope his guys play better than they did last year and GW better hope the second coming of Grevis shows up this season---because if not, the new bosses will make more changes. Sometimes change is good---in MD's case---it may have to have the courage to pick the right path at the crossroads and rightfully so!!!

Posted by: beardown29 | June 27, 2010 3:37 PM | Report abuse

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