Well, it’s been an interesting 24 hours in College Park, to say the least.
Let’s put it this way: Who’d have ever thought a Maryland basketball player being declared academically ineligible would come anywhere close to the thing creating the greatest yowling in a day.
It isn’t as noticeable as the obvious growing rift between coach Gary Williams and the athletic department. It isn’t as noticeable as the on-court woes that have plagued, still plague and probably will continue to plague the Terrapins. And it isn’t as noticeable that the NIT seems like the upside for this team.
In a rather ironic twist, Williams won’t get roasted for Jin Soo Kim’s ineligibility. But he has far greater problems at this stage.
Things have been quiet today, but plenty of damage is already done. The strained relationship between Williams and his superiors was illustrated a few years ago with the decline-the-NIT-only-to-accept-it fiasco. That just spoke to lousy communication between Williams and athletic director Debbie Yow.
But yesterday’s published reports essentially amounted to not-so-friendly fire, making a bad week even worse for Maryland. And for now, things will probably remain in a white-hot holding pattern as Yow attends to sad family business in North Carolina (her sister Kay died Saturday) and Williams smolders after unleashing some frustration last night (of which I only caught the very end).
Lots of people have difficult jobs to do today in College Park. The person whose task it is to make the aftermath of a verbal machete duel look like a couple papercuts might face the steepest challenge of all.
And at this stage, things might only be starting to unfold.