Hot on the heels of Sports Illustrated's analysis of the University of Maryland's move to the Big Ten from the ACC, Sports Business Journal came up with their own analysis. As a result, SBJ writer John Ourand extracted this gem from former Maryland athletic director Debbie Yow.
Maryland will play Wisconsin middle of winter? Hope that money is really good.
Let's ignore that old Debbie's clearly trying to rip off the "Hope it's a wonderful coffee shop, Jack" line from Midnight Run, and focus on the substantial things, like how her mismanagement got the school into this mess in the first place. From that Sports Illustrated piece:
Coaches admired Yow's ambition, but not her management skills, and her shortcomings were highlighted as the top two revenue-producing sports began to struggle ... At major Maryland athletic events, Yow was often seen walking briskly with her head down instead of greeting fans and schmoozing alums ... "There were a lot of donors that turned away because they didn't like her," said Brian Burlace, a former Maryland All-America lacrosse player and prominent donor. "They didn't like the way she treated Gary Williams. I think without question she really severed a lot of relationships with donors."
Now, we dislike schmoozing as much as the next guy, but when it's part of your job, sometimes a little sucking up is required. But here's the kicker.
Yow's goal was to improve and expand her athletic department, but her critics say she greatly overreached.
"It seems to be common knowledge within the department that Debbie spent all of the money," said Salyer, the women's water polo coach who saw his program cut along with seven others in July. "The thought is that she knew that she was going to be out of there and she spent the money."
And now, Maryland's leaving the conference that Yow and her North Carolina compatriots feel so strongly about keeping together, in part to ensure that the decisions of one person can't dig so large a sinkhole in the athletic department's budget ever again, and Yow's cracking wise about trips to Madison, Wisconsin (as if going there's any more arduous than, say, Tallahassee, Florida).
Nope, we'd say lesson very much not learned.