Since Memorial Day, when Bill Tierney coached Princeton to a 10-9 upset win over Syracuse to win the NCAA lacrosse championship, speculation has been widespread that Tierney would become the new coach at Virginia.
It makes great sense.
Tierney, voted Coach of the Year, is the hot guy in his profession. In five years, he transformed Princeton from a 2-13 team to a 13-2 team that won the national championship.
And Virginia, with perhaps the most attractive coaching job in college lacrosse, has been looking for a coach since Jim Adams resigned May 13.
Many saw it as a done deal -- Tierney going to Virginia. But yesterday, talking by phone from the lacrosse office at Princeton, Tierney -- a former assistant coach at Johns Hopkins -- shed a different light on it.
"It's not like people think it is," Tierney said. "I think a lot of people around Baltimore have been speaking for Virginia without knowing what's going on.
"I went to Charlottesville last week to interview. Virginia has given me no reason to believe I'm ahead of anybody else.
"I'm not sure I'd accept the job if they called today and offered it to me. Sometimes you don't know what you've got until you see other places."
Winning the championship -- the first NCAA championship Princeton has won in anything since fencing in 1964 -- has changed the picture for Tierney.
"This thing has really taken off at this university," he said. "I was asked to attend a meeting of the Princeton board of trustees where they gave me a proclamation in recognition of what our team did.
"The only other coach Princeton has done that for was Pete Carril when his basketball team almost beat Georgetown in the NCAAs.
"Lacrosse is important at Princeton now. I'm very happy here and I've got a great group of kids coming back next year."
If Tierney decides to stay where he is, and it certainly looks as if he's leaning that way, the new Virginia coach probably would be Brown's Dom Starsia. Starsia was the only other coach brought to Charlottesville to be interviewed last week, although a half-dozen were interviewed two weeks before that.
The Virginia situation should be settled in the next few days.
* The New York Yankees, who now move on to Kansas City, demonstrated once again during their long weekend at Camden Yards that they no longer generate a negative reaction in Baltimore.
Or as Wilfred Sheed writes in his book, "Baseball and Lesser Sports": "The Yankees are not worth hating any more."
* Those fans who say they'll give up their Orioles tickets if the club doesn't re-sign Cal Ripken remind me of the people who said after the first players strike that they would never go to another ballgame. They may have meant it when they said it, but Orioles attendance today shows how quickly such vows can be forgotten.
* Will Baltimore get an NFL franchise in the next expansion? Bruce H. Hoffman, the Maryland Stadium Authority's highly respected executive director, thinks the two new teams will be awarded to our city and St. Louis.
Says Hoffman: "Charlotte doesn't have the tradition Baltimore has."
With all due respect to the man who did such a magnificent job getting Oriole Park at Camden Yards built, I think tradition will mean next to nothing in the NFL owners' decision. They'll put the new teams where they think they can make the most money. It's that simple.