Terps, Hoyas eye Nov. 26 Landover is site for rivalry renewal COLLEGE BASKETBALL

July 22, 1993|By Don Markus | Don Markus,Staff Writer

A college basketball rivalry that ended 13 years ago apparently amid angry words between the head coaches likely will be renewed when Maryland and Georgetown open the 1993-94 season Nov. 26 at the USAir Arena.

"It's probable, but we don't have all the particulars worked out," Maryland athletic director Andy Geiger said yesterday.

The game could be part of a four-game package that day on ESPN, beginning with the Terrapins and Hoyas at 2 p.m. It also would include the Tip-Off Classic between Michigan and Georgia Tech, the final of the preseason NIT and a semifinal of the Great Alaskan Shootout.

Tom Odjakian, director of college basketball for ESPN, said the network is waiting to hear from Russ Potts, a Winchester, Va.-based sports promoter who brought the schools together, as well as from the Big East, which has to agree to add the game to its television package.

"Whether it happens is not contingent on us," Odjakian said. "But if it happens, we want to be there."

Though the possibility of the game was reported last month by The Washington Post, the process has been slowed because Potts is on vacation and Georgetown athletic director Frank Rienzo is at home convalescing after recent surgery.

Maryland basketball coach Gary Williams declined to discuss the particulars of the game until the schools officially announce it. Georgetown basketball John Thompson was out of town and could not be reached.

According to several sources involved in the negotiations, the schools are trying to work out the length of the contract. After talking about a one-year deal, as well as a home-and-home series, there is the possibility of a multiyear arrangement. Odjakian said ESPN would be interested in being part of a multiyear arrangement.

Big East associate commissioner Tom McElroy said yesterday that the television arrangement would be up to Georgetown, if it is deemed a home game for the Hoyas. CBS has right of first refusal on all Big East games, and the Big East would have to be compensated by either CBS or ESPN because its contract with both networks includes a set number of games.

"I think it's a game that potentially has national appeal," McElroy said. "As Maryland continues to rebuild under Gary Williams, it will be an attractive game for the networks. On the other hand, they could also try to sell it to one of the independent local stations."

The game, which would be played on the first official day of the season, likely would be the featured game of a doubleheader to include West Virginia and Virginia Tech. It also would be the first of back-to-back games for the Terps, who were scheduled to open the season Nov. 27 at home against Cornell.

The inclusion of Georgetown also would force Maryland to reshuffle its schedule. According to an athletic department source, the Terps would push the second game of a two-year deal with LaSalle back to the 1994-95 season. And the Terps would play non-conference games against three quality non-conference teams -- Georgetown, Oklahoma and Massachusetts -- in December.

The prospect of this game has been talked about in the Baltimore-Washington area for several years. The series, which began in 1910 and was played nearly continuously between 1947 and 1980, was halted with Maryland leading 31-24 after the schools played two heated games during the 1979-80 season.

The first, won by the Hoyas at the old Washington Arena, included an angry exchange between then-Maryland coach Lefty Driesell and Georgetown's Thompson. The second came during the NCAA tournament's Round of 16 at the Spectrum in Philadelphia and also was won by Georgetown.

The feud escalated as Georgetown emerged to become one of the country's top teams, and Thompson declined to play Maryland. There was some thought that the series would be renewed when Bob Wade, a close friend of Thompson's, came to Maryland after Driesell's forced departure in 1986.

Said former Maryland guard Greg Manning, executive director of the M Club at his alma mater: "You always hear, 'Why don't Maryland and Georgetown play each other?' It's a shame that two teams that are so close and so good haven't played."

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