Will Gary Williams' War of Words With Maryland Associate AD Spell His End?

CodyContributor IJanuary 29, 2009

According to ESPN.com and The Baltimore Sun, there is severe tension brewing in College Park between Maryland's head basketball coach Gary Williams and Senior Associate Athletic Director Kathleen Worthington.

The spat started Monday night after Williams was asked about 2008 recruits Gus Gilchrist and Tyree Evans. Both were committed to Maryland at one point, but both left in somewhat mysterious circumstances.

Williams addressed the past skeletons, saying, "It wasn't my fault that they're not here. That was somebody else's call."

Taking it as an attack on the athletic department, Worthington responded Tuesday morning with, "I want to clarify the facts and the timing and the decision process of these situations. It was my recommendation that we not sign a release for Gus. I didn't want to release him. It was the head coach's decision. No one else released Gus."

Clearly perturbed with Worthington's response, Williams got more personal, saying this about the Associate AD: "Kathy Worthington doesn't speak for me, she has never won a national championship, she has never done anything. She's an associate AD. This is just giving you guys stuff to make me look bad."

The reason Gilchrist and Evans' names came up is in large part to do with Maryland's lack of recent success on the court and on the recruiting board. Since winning the National Championship in 2002, the Terrapins are just 53-49 in the ACC and have made just three NCAA Tournament appearances, each without advancing past the second round.

Williams has also just produced one NBA talent not a part of the 2002 Championship team in D.J. Strawberry (33 career games, 73 career points).

Williams has admitted to signing the release form for Gilchrist in June, who had apparently made up his mind and did not want to continue with the Terrapins. Evans had apparently come to that same conclusion as well, and once again Williams abided. Worthington said that was not all, as apparently Evans was convicted of misdemeanor drug charges and assault and battery.

Worthington added, "Gary made the final decision to withdraw an offer of aid to Tyree and personally called the Office of Student Affairs to inform them he was no longer recruiting Tyree Evans because Tyree had not disclosed all of the criminal issues he'd had in his past, and Gary became upset that Tyree hadn't disclosed everything."

Feeling pinned in a corner, Williams' dying words were, "I've run a clean program for 20 years. Check my record. I coach here, I've got to live here. I've coached here for 20 years, long before anyone else was here. Nobody was here 20 years ago."

But Williams' impressive 410-222 record and 20-year career at Maryland may not save him now.