After Maryland’s Jan. 20 loss to N.C. State in Raleigh this past season, head coach Mark Turgeon called one of his mentors for advice.
Southern Methodist head coach Larry Brown, who coached Turgeon as a player and brought him on staff at Kansas after his graduation, helped to make sense of the situation in what would turn out to be a postseason-less year for the Terrapins.
In a video published this week, Maryland came up again as Brown was asked about a range of topics, including NCAA realignment, while out scouting players during the July recruiting period.
“I can’t imagine Kansas and Missouri not playing, Texas and Texas A&M not playing,” Brown told Campus Insiders. “Maryland having to go to Minneapolis to play a conference game doesn’t make sense.”
Brown’s point is part of a conversation that has all but blown over nationally.
With such a long period of time between the announcement of Maryland’s move to the Big Ten and the official switchover date on July 1, 2014, the qualm that the NCAA and NBA title-winning coach was more a part of the initial backlash and less of what dominates the narrative today.
In the same interview Brown pivots to what has been discussed more prominently now, namely athlete welfare in the face of rearranging conferences.
“I hate the trend,” he said. “Travel is terrible. They talk about ‘in the best interest of the student-athlete.’ They’re full of bologna. They’re only interested in money.”
This isn’t what you’ll typically hear from college coaches, which is why Brown’s place in the game is so unique. He has nothing left to lose. The bulk of his career is behind him. He has won championships at this level and in the professional ranks.
He’s going to speak his mind, but the question is how much weight that opinion holds and how widely it resonates.