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Apparently, there was a private conversation between Georgetown head coach John Thompson III and his Maryland counterpart Mark Turgeon last summer about a possible match-up between the two schools, according to ESPN college basketball writer Andy Katz. Now that Maryland Athletic director Kevin Anderson has made this negotiation public, Katz says there is a chance that this could end up torpedoing any chance of a game happening anytime soon.
If this had been left up to Turgeon and JT3, there was at least a chance it could happen. Turgeon and JT3 don't have any animosity. But now that it has gone public, the odds are slim. If the two schools schedule a game against each other, it will look like Georgetown caved in to a threat. The chances of a Thompson-led program doing such a thing are probably zero.
So there is that. In addition, Anderson talked to Washington Post columnist Mike Wise about this most recent decision.
I have no beef with Coach Thompson, I have the utmost respect for him. I know some people in this profession who would not have their jobs were it not for all the things he did years ago to open doors. I just want get this settled one way or the other before we move on. I'm open to changing my position if we start to have a dialogue on this
Again, while this was done with good intentions on the part of Anderson and he only wanted the best in what was a logical regional rivalry, going public with this decision now puts all the pressure on Georgetown. If they make a move now, they run the risk of looking like they are caving into Maryland's demands. So don't get excited about any big Maryland-Georgetown match-ups (for now).
It would seem that Maryland Athletic Director Kevin Anderson has doubled down on his decree to keep Georgetown off all of Maryland's varsity sports schedules until the Hoyas and Terrapins meet in men's basketball.
In a statement that was posted on Maryland's official Facebook page (though we don't see it there now), Anderson said:
The interest that has arisen from area fans regarding our discussions about possible men’s basketball games between Maryland and Georgetown confirms the idea is a good one. The reaction from Maryland fans we’ve heard from has been overwhelmingly positive [and] the financial benefits to both institutions cannot be ignored. It is not our desire to continue this discussion in the media. We look forward to working with Coach [Mark] Turgeon and our colleagues at Georgetown University, to see if we can overcome whatever obstacles exist and turn this hope into a reality that will benefit both institutions when the time is right
Liz Clarke spotlights what would be the final inter-varsity match-ups between the two teams if Anderson sticks to his guns.
Maryland and Georgetown met this season in women’s basketball, women’s lacrosse, men’s and women’s swimming and diving, and men’s tennis. The men’s soccer teams scrimmaged last fall. The men’s lacrosse teams are scheduled to face off at Georgetown on Friday night, which will apparently be the last varsity contest between the universities for the foreseeable future.
The ongoing rhetorical tennis match that is the Georgetown-Maryland men's basketball brouhaha drew further attention on the District's airwaves this week, as two of the legendary coaches of each respective program weighed in on the controversy.
First, former Georgetown coach John Thompson, Jr. weighed in on Kevin Anderson's unusual negotiating tactics ESPN 980 Monday afternoon.
I've certainly never heard of anybody dealing with [a scheduling dispute] in a public format, not unless you're trying to divert attention from yourself ... You know, that's incomprehensible to me. Certainly - and I'm speaking for myself - I'm not gonna permit myself to be threatened, I can tell you that right now, by anybody that [wants] me to act on a threat. I don't think that's the intelligent way to do anything.
I think that anybody who has any form of integrity would not permit themselves to be threatened, and anybody that has any form of intelligence would not attempt to do that, and particularly not in a public format, and particularly when you're trying to educate young people in the art of negotiating and talking.
But Big John wasn't done there.
Who is Kevin Anderson? How long has he been the athletic director at the University of Maryland? He is a very, very exceptional individual. He's capable of directing the athletics at two different schools. "I don't know where ADs at prominent, at prominent educational institutions, do the scheduling. So it appears to me that that would be a coach and coach thing, not an AD and AD thing, from those who know. I made the schedule at Georgetown. Dean Smith made the schedule at North Carolina. Bobby Knight made the schedule, Coach K makes the schedule. I don't think the AD makes the schedule at any of those institutions. I don't know what Mark Turgeon does. I don't know. It appears to me that the AD does it, if he's threatening to stop the other sports from playing. I don't know. I mean, I'm puzzled.
Meanwhile, former Maryland coach Gary Williams appeared in his regular Tuesday slot on ESPN 980 and was asked about the potential of an annual Maryland-Georgetown game:
"There's room for a new rivalry there now [due to conference realignment]. I think it would be a good thing. That [series] stopped before I got to Maryland, so hopefully there's a way to get that done. I haven't met anyone [at Maryland] that wouldn't like to see that game take place."
And on and on we go.
Thompson quotes via Steinbog.
In response to Maryland athletic director Kevin Anderson putting a block on all matchups between Maryland and Georgetown in other sports until they are able to schedule the Hoyas in Men's Basketball, Georgetown head coach John Thompson III was quoted by Washington Post sports reporter Tarik El-Bashir as saying
JT3: "I find it extremely odd that a competent athletic director would chose that method to try to schedule a game." The gloves are off.
— Tarik El-Bashir (@TarikElBashir) February 20, 2012
Thompson has been around college athletics his entire life and I'm sure that this is the first time that an athletic director is willing to shut down the games in all other sports in order to play just one team in a sport. Granted it is college basketball and the match up between the two most successful programs in the DC area sounds like a great idea. Still its a disappointment that it has come to the possibility of other student-athletes losing a local competitor because of one sport.
Maryland's Kevin Anderson says that the Terps will not play Georgetown in any other sport until a men's basketball series is scheduled.