Bad news seems to be the only news from College Park these days. First, the awful injury to Pe'Shon Howard, the sophomore point guard with so much promise. Howard suffered a broken foot and will be out at least two months. He could be back for ACC play, but who knows what his effectiveness would be, and a medical redshirt year is under consideration.
But bones heal. Howard will be back in a Terp uniform, and though it may be 2012, he will play well again. What's going on with assistant coach Dalonte Hill is another matter entirely.
In the last few days, a mountain of damning evidence has emerged from Manhattan, Kansas, where Hill used to serve as an assistant coach at Kansas State University. The subject of the controversy is Michael Beasley, a star at KSU for one year before going pro. Beasley grew up in the D.C. area and went to Kansas State because Hill was hired to be an assistant there.
Hill coached and has long-standing ties with Beasley's AAU coach Curtis Malone. Now it appears proof has arrived that Malone serves as the bag man for NBA agent Joel Bell. This is certainly not surprising, the links between AAU coaches like Malone and NBA agents have been suspected and secretly discussed for some time. Now retired Maryland Coach Gary Williams refused to deal with Malone, and for many years Williams was criticized because of that decision.
Luminaries in college hoops recruited players from Malone's DC Assualt team, like Coach K at Duke and Roy Williams at North Carolina. The fallout for these programs remains to be seen. Where action must come swiftly is at Maryland, where new basketball coach Mark Turgeon has hired Hill to serve as an assistant.
The facts are slowly leaking out, and odds are there will be much we never know. But even if Hill is cleared of any wrongdoing he was certainly very involved in some shady dealings. Williams never would have hired Hill, and I imagine he would fire him now, before a game is even played.
Hill may have separated himself from all of the agent related activity, but I find it extremely hard to believe he knew nothing about it. Hill had a strong relationship with Beasley's mother who was receiving illegal benefits throughout her son's tenure in Kansas. The whole situation stinks, and Hill will not escape the stench, though it is important to point out that Hill has not been accused of any wrongdoing. Everything is rumor and conjecture at this point, the facts will emerge.
Under the old guard in College Park, a situation like this would be hard to imagine. How the new guard handles the Hill situation will be interesting to see. For years, critics of Gary Williams questioned why he never landed highly regarded players from Malone's DC Assualt team. Now it appears we know why.