North Carolina State has hired a new basketball coach in Mark Gottfried, former Alabama head coach for 9 years, to replace Sidney Lowe. However, it looks like there is more to this story as the athletic director at State, Debbie Yow, used the introductory press conference to throw accusations at Gary Williams. Yow, the former athletic director at Maryland for 16 years, stated that Gary Williams interfered with the search for a new coach. Williams and Yow give new meaning to Foreigner’s “Cold as Ice.”
I don’t have a reputation across all 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.
So let me get this straight, Yow used two “whatevers” to make her case. I understand that Williams and Yow both parted on bad terms when Yow left for NC State, but what is this high school? Also I find it interesting saying “we all know that.” Who is we? What do “we” all know?
When asked for any specific examples by the host of reporters, Yow said, “There’ll be somebody else writing about that nationally. I don’t need to be doing that. That’s not my job.”
One of the hottest coaching commodities coming from the NCAA tournament outside the Brad Stevens division was Shaka Smart. He was rumored to be linked with the Missouri, NC State, and many other openings. However, he took an 8 year extension from VCU and is making a million less a year than was rumored to be offered by the Wolfpack. I don’t know the details of what happened or why Smart took less money, but it is interesting to say the least.
“I think she’s been publicly embarrassed, and she’s not used to that,” Washington Post columnist John Feinstein said on 106.7 The Fan. “When Shaka Smart says, ‘I would rather work at VCU for a million dollars less than come and work for you,’ which is what he basically said two days ago, that’s embarrassing if you’re an athletic director still trying to prove yourself to your new constituency down at NC State, which had a lot of doubts when she was hired.”
Williams responded back to the accusations from Yow in the Baltimore Sun stating:
I don’t have any interest in the N.C. 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.
Maryland just went through one of their worst seasons in two decades and I think Williams has more on his plate than worrying about who gets hired in Raleigh.
The Williams and Yow feud began in 2008 when a conflict with two talented basketball recruits, Gus Gilchrist and Tyree Evans, fell through and they (Williams and Yow) each blamed the other. It truly has become a “he said, she said” argument and finding the truth in the gray area is quite difficult. The distrust and tension grew from there until Yow left Maryland for NC State on June 25, 2010. Maybe the best solution is to lock the two in a steel cage match and let them go at it.