Thursday, May 29, 2008


JUCO whiz Tyrese Evans from Richmond won’t be going to Maryland after all. After four years away from the Big Dance and just six years removed from winning it all, Gary Williams’ Terps looked to benefit right away from the 6’3” 23-year-old well travelled shooting guard.

And then reality closed in...

Last week, while the MD was contemplating admission after Williams had offered a scholarship, Evans asked to be released from his commitment. The withdrawal comes less than three weeks after Evans told The Baltimore Sun, "I'm proud to be a Terp," and less than six weeks after he was offered a scholarship by the school's basketball staff. Athletic director Debbie Yow said she didn't know at the time that Maryland was recruiting Evans or much, if anything, about his criminal past.

You want crime? Evans has got some crime…

Evans' abrupt decision came after media reports about his past. In 2005, he was charged with felony possession of marijuana with intent to distribute. He ended up pleading to a misdemeanor and was sentenced to 12 months in jail with all but one month suspended. In 2006, he pleaded guilty to a reduced assault-related misdemeanor after being accused with others of statutory rape of a 15-year-old female classmate at a Massachusetts prep school in 2004. There was also a 2006 trespassing arrest in his hometown of Richmond, Va.

Wait, there’s more -- marijuana possession and handgun charges in Cecil County Circuit Court in November 2005. He received probation on the drug charge, and the handgun count wasn't pursued by prosecutors, county officials said.

All the time Williams championed his cause while Athletic Director Debbie Yow initially claimed no knowledge of his sorted background.

AOL Fan Houser Sportz Assasin put it this way: This is a bittersweet moment for Terps fans as Evans would have contributed immediately. He was a star high school prospect and a JUCO star at Motlow State CC (as well as others). However, he has more baggage than a former Disney teen star.

Evans has bounced around schools over the past several years and has had some serious off-court issues…There was quite a debate around College Park about Evans and if he should even be there. Coach Gary Williams was in his corner, but the heat was apparantly too much to take.

And AOL’s Nathan Folwer had this to say: There's so many things wrong with this entire situation that it's almost impossible to figure out where to even start. To begin with, Maryland never should be in a situation where they are so desperate for talent that they are forced to dip into the JUCO ranks or face a depleted roster. Gary Williams has done a very poor job recruiting in recent years and doesn't seem to have his heart in it, never capitalizing on the back to back Final Four runs in the early part of this decade. That being said, it's also very evident that Williams' and Yow's working relationship has crumbled to the point of being basically non-existent.

Gary Williams is a Maryland alumni and led them to the school's first National Championship, he's an institution in College Park and he can probably coach there as long as he wants to. Debbie Yow is regarded as an excellent athletic director. Sooner than later though, one of them is going to have to move on from Maryland or the basketball program is going to continue to be mired in mediocrity. You simply cannot have your AD and your highest profile coach clearly not only not working together but not even keeping each other informed.


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