Maryland men's basketball coach Gary Williams passed on the opportunity to get into a verbal steel cage match with N.C. State athletic director Debbie Yow yesterday after she accused him of "sabotaging" her search for a new coach. Apparently, Yow wasn't the only one taking shots at Williams yesterday.
Before Yow made her comments at a press conference introducing N.C. State men's basketball coach Mark Gottfried, CBSSports.com columnist Gregg Doyel, an admitted Yow supporter, tore into Williams during an appearance on a North Carolina radio station.
Asked if he thought that Williams had an influence in N.C. State's coaching search, Doyel sounded off.
"Well, he has influence, and not because people think Gary Williams is so brilliant and trustworthy that if he tells me something, dadgummit, it must be true,” he said. “I don’t think he has that much influence. I don’t want to give that little tiny little petty human being that much credit.
"And by the way, I e-mailed Gary’s PR director yesterday back and forth three times, saying I want to talk to Gary very specifically about his influence on the N.C. State coaching search. They’ve not gotten back to me after I made it clear exactly what I want, so it’s very possible he’s gonna duck me, that coward."
Doyel eventually got around to answering the question.
"If you get one person -- and that person’s Gary Williams -- to say the AD’s not easy to work for, that will allow someone to justify their own [doubts about taking the job]. ... Basically, Gary Williams is giving coaches an excuse to do the easy thing, which is stay where they are.”
Doyel wasn't done. A few minutes later, he brought up Williams again.
"I want to make this very clear, that if Gary Williams does not return my call, he’s scared of me," Doyel said. "And so he can act all big and bad, and he can stand there on his coaching bench and turn around and yell at his assistant coaches, who've done nothing wrong. And when a guy on the court travels, he can turn around and yell at the 12th man on his bench, because he’s a little bitty tiny coward runt of a man."
I reached out to Doyel this morning for a comment, but I have yet to hear back. I won't call him a "little bitty tiny coward runt of a man" because I'm actually quite terrified of him after hearing the interview.