Lay Off Gary Williams and Clemson Thread

1/21/2011 9:33:00 PM [Image flickrUrl="http://www.flickr.com/photos/insidemdsports/5374737536/" url="http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5125/5374737536_7e970110f7.jpg" align="Left" caption="Gary calmly explains to Terrell Stoglin that he will retire from Maryland when he is good and ready" credit="Inside Maryland Sports"  width="500" height="333" ]

Last night, the Terps got blown out at home against an average team.  The 18-point drubbing represents the largest margin of defeat in the history of the Comcast Center.  In short, it was one of the worst games of the last 10 years and that is really saying something.

It's so bad, that the "Blame Gary" wing of the Maryland Fan Base has begun to make noise again.  Terps fans are understandably frustrated; but before we heed the call for sacking a future Hall of Fame coach, let's look at some facts. 

Since 1990, only three coaches who have won a National Championship have left their program without retiring: UCLA's Jim Harrick (1995), Arkansas's Nolan Richardson (1994), and Kentucky's Tubby Smith (1998).  If we examine these three examples, unique circumstances emerge in each case.  Jim Harrick got caught falsifying expense reports and lying to University investigators.  Nolan Richardson was fired after accusing the University of Arkansas of racism.  Tubby Smith "resigned" after a string of 10+ loss seasons coupled with a failure to progress deep into the NCAAs over an extended period.

Smith's case is the only example that comes close to what we have at Maryland.  The difference is that Tubby never got credit for his Title because Kentucky fans thought he did it with Rick Pitino's players.  What's more, he was viewed as a "northern carpetbagger" who wasn't a true "Kentuckian".  I'm sure being a black head coach at a place where Adolph Rupp is ranked just below Jesus didn't help his case either.

Gary Williams, on the other hand, is a "Maryland" guy.  He's spurned other opportunities.  It's the only job he ever wanted.  He also won a Championship with a team that he constructed out of his own image.  Sure, we've endured a prolonged period of mediocre seasons by Maryland standards.  These are struggles that haven't been seen in College Park since '87-'92 years.  Coincidentally, those years corresponded to the 2 years before Gary's arrival and his probation plagued first two seasons. 

Gary could have left after the school was put on probation in 1990. Instead, he stayed and ushered in the golden age of Terps basketball. We should not be calling for his head every time the Terps get off to a slow start.

Everyone who follows this program knew this year would be a tough one.  Our best player is a sophomore, the seniors are weak, and freshman guards are playing crunch time minutes.

Gary is not perfect.  He's a bad recruiter blah blah blah.  However, there is no other coach out there who would do a better job at Maryland than Gary Williams.

Clemson comes to College Park tomorrow and there is no point in wasting breath about Gary Williams' future.  As we've seen with the Ralph Friedgen debacle, the administration is miles behind other schools in regards to its commitment to the revenue-producing sports.  Until that changes, no high profile coach would be willing to come to Maryland even if the school got rid of Gary.  We should thank our lucky stars that Gary Williams is still motivated to lead the program.
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