NC State's Debbie Yow Accusation of Sabotage May Be a Good Thing for Wolf Pack

Mike KlineAnalyst IApril 7, 2011

Debbie Yow's comments that Maryland coach Gary Williams was tampering with the coaching search at NC State has overshadowed the hiring of Mark Gottfried.
Debbie Yow's comments that Maryland coach Gary Williams was tampering with the coaching search at NC State has overshadowed the hiring of Mark Gottfried.

Sabotage hasn't been this entertaining since the Beastie Boys in the mid-1990s. It has been quite some time since NC State men's basketball got this much attention in the national media.

Thanks to athletic director Debbie Yow, that is changing, at least for the short term.

As most people now know, Yow, during a press conference to announce Mark Gottfried as the new men's basketball coach, called out current Maryland coach Gary Williams for sabotaging the NC State coaching search.

It was widely publicized that Yow and Williams didn't get along when Yow was the athletic director at Maryland.

That couldn't have been more apparent at the press conference announcing the hiring of her new school's new basketball coach. Yow called the suspected tampering, "Gary Williams out there doing his thing."

The story has gained some legs, being featured on ESPN's Outside the Lines that questioned whether or not Williams had, as Yow insinuated and sportswriters such as CBS Sports' Greg Doyle have said, interfered with NC State's coaching search by badmouthing Yow to perspective coaches.

Yow's vehement defense and refuting the supposed reputation has united a disjointed fanbase who has, for the most part, thrown its full support behind their athletic director.

Yow's sister, the beloved Kay Yow, was the longtime NC State women's basketball coach who passed away after a courageous battle with cancer.

The fanbase has gravitated to her sister, now athletic director, and has quickly come to her defense.

While Yow is more or less dismissing the story at this point, it has become something of a lighting rod for local radio shows and the national media.

Whether intentional of accidental, the entire incident has brought the spotlight on NC State—not an easy task with Duke and North Carolina down the road in either direction.

NC State has become the middle child in the triangle and an afterthought nationally. Yow's accusation has shifted that, if just for the time being, and it remains to be seen what the long-term effects will be.

But as someone once said, bad publicity is better than no publicity, and Yow has taken the seemingly standard practice of hiring a new coach and turned it on its ear.

While Gottfried's hiring appears to be a good move both for him and the University, he has a long road to hoe to break out of the shadows. But it can be done.

And with a little less attention on him, thanks to his athletic director, he can now focus on assessing what he has and what he needs for a while.

Of course, this story, like any, will die down, at least until Maryland plays NC State next season, and the focus will return to Gottfried and the rebuilding of a once-proud program.

Yow many not have intended the media storm, but it more or less has set a screen for her new coach to focus on his job, and that may be a good thing come November.