Debbie Yow accuses Gary Williams

Updated: April 6, 2011, 4:23 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

RALEIGH, N.C. -- The frosty relationship between North Carolina State athletic director Debbie Yow and Maryland's Gary Williams took a nasty turn during the introduction of the Wolfpack's new men's basketball coach.

Yow -- who spent 16 years as Maryland's athletic director -- called out the Terrapins coach, who won the 2002 NCAA championship working under her, of interfering with the search.

It happened during North Carolina State's news conference introducing Mark Gottfried, who replaced Sidney Lowe. Yow responded to a reporter's question to Gottfried about whether she had a reputation of being difficult to work with.

"I don't have a reputation across all men's basketball of being difficult to work with," she said Tuesday. "I have a reputation of not getting along with Gary Williams, who has tried to sabotage the search. Come on, we all know that. OK, so whatever.

"It's not a reputation. It's Gary Williams out there doing his thing. Whatever."

When asked if she had specific examples of anything Williams had said or done, Yow replied: "There'll be somebody else writing about that nationally. I don't need to be doing that. That's not my job."

Doug Dull, a team spokesman at Maryland, did not immediately return a call or email from The Associated Press for comment. But Williams did release a statement to the Baltimore Sun saying he hasn't talked to anyone, coach or athletic director, connected to the N.C. State search.

"I don't have any interest in the N.C. State search, since I'm coaching at Maryland and working hard to run our program," Williams said. "Anyone who says I've had contact with a prospective coach or athletic director regarding this search isn't being truthful."

It became apparent several years ago that Yow and Williams were butting heads, even though neither acknowledged any animosity toward the other. But in July 2008, a D.C.-area AAU coach said, "This is from what I hear, not what I've seen, but people think they don't like each other."

The distrust and tension stems from Williams' recruiting at Maryland, specifically in 2008, when the Terrapins lost two high-profile recruits -- Gus Gilchrist, who ended up at South Florida, and Tyree Evans, who went to Kent State.

Williams told the media, when asked about the two: "It wasn't my fault that they're not here. That was somebody else's call."

But Maryland senior associate athletic director Kathleen Worthington countered that, telling the Baltimore Sun: "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."

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

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