Women's Hoops Blog

Inane commentary on a game that deserves far better

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

The Terps Insider reflects on Debbie Yow's departure: Yow Legacy Mostly Positive

Enter Yow, who was hired as Maryland’s athletic director in 1994, at a time when not much was going right for the department. Yow inherited a massive $51 million debt, a history of poor academic performance among athletes, fan apathy and a slew of unsuccessful varsity programs.

To say that Yow’s arrival was not well received among many in the school’s gentrified alumni and booster base would be an understatement. She’s originally from North Carolina, which immediately made some Maryland folks suspicious, because that state was home to the ACC power base that was perceived to look down on its northern-most (at the time) school. Fueling further skepticism was the fact that she was hired away from St. Louis, a Midwest school with no great history in athletics.

Topping it all off, however, was the fact that Yow is a woman. Maryland had never had a female athletic director, and some close-minded fans and boosters wished the school never did. There was a large segment of Terrapin Club members who never truly supported Yow and seized upon any misstep or problem as evidence that she was not qualified for the job.