A look inside the Gary Williams court-naming decision

Regents had private discussion in September

November 04, 2011|By Jeff Barker | The Baltimore Sun

It seemed there was little doubt that the Comcast Center basketball court would one day be named for former Maryland coach Gary Williams.

I’d heard about such a proposal  long before Williams announced his retirement in May. It had the support of Maryland president Wallace D. Loh and athletic director Kevin Anderson.

It turns out there was an interesting  development during  the Board of Regents’ discussion of the court-naming in executive session (meaning private) in September.

As my story in the paper says, board members  were informed that  the Williams court-naming decision could be tied to a significant potential donation to the university. The potential donor’s identity has not been disclosed.

It’s important to note that the decision to name the court for the coach was not made by the regents, but by Chancellor William "Brit" Kirwan.

 Kirwan told me in a written statement  that “a possible gift was not a factor in my consideration.”

And why did I report it?

For the same reason that  reporters write about campaign contributions to political candidates. Because it’s important  to learn about the environment in which important business is discussed.

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