Ye gods. You can tell a situation is getting bad when it shows up on the ESPN ticker. I looked out of the corner of my eye and saw something to the effect of: “Maryland assistant athletic director Kathy Worthington says Gary Williams released recruits himself, contrary to Williams’ previous statements.” Then there was another line: “Maryland head coach Gary Williams states that ‘the next time I see her, Kathy Worthington will feel the back of my hand.'”
Well, maybe not. But he did tell reporters that “Kathy Worthingon has never won a national championship. She has never done anything.” Jesus. Of course, Gary’s true target here is athletic director Debbie Yow, whose sister, Kay, just lost a very long and public battle with cancer. This is beyond messy. The full transcript of Gary’s rather defensive comments are here.
This lash-out comes on the heels of the athletic department’s own rebuttal of Gary’s claim that he was not the one who prevented certain recruits from coming to Maryland, with the implication (for some, anyway) seeming to be that the athletic department, and not Williams, icksnayed the players. But then the AD went and drug out a paper trail on him, in a display that, as the D.C. Sports Bog points out, seemed precisely calibrated to inflict maximum damage and embarrassment on Gary.
If Gary was intending to get his team’s poor performance off the front pages, he has succeeded, at least for the time being. He has also sent a message to Yow, who is apparently his mortal blood enemy, that he will not be going quietly.
And make no mistake — given this war of words, Gary is gone after this year barring a dramatic turnaround. Like it or not, the writing is on the wall. And with half of the team’s final 10 games against Duke, Wake, Clemson, and Carolina TWICE, and with the team needing at least seven more wins in general and a couple more “signature” wins to make the tourney, I’m not expecting said turnaround (hoping yes, expecting no). And Gary knows all of this. This is the basketball coach equivalent of stealing office supplies and peeing in the coffee pot on his way out. Here’s hoping that he won’t need a letter of reference.