banner
Adam Gold

Last call for a legend

Posted March 13, 2014
Updated March 14, 2014

Maryland's Charles Mitchell (left) and Dez Wells late during the Terrapins' game at Duke on Saturday, February 15, 2014 in Durham, NC.  Duke defeated the Terrapins 69-67.  (Photo by Jack Morton)

For the record, Boris Bojonovsky, a 7-foot-3 center from Slovakia, officially flushed Maryland out of the Atlantic Coast Conference with 0:00.4 seconds left in Florida State's 67-65 second round tournament victory. With that, the 61-year basketball run for the Terrapins in the ACC came to a close.

Say what you will about their fans boorish behavior. Say what you want about the chip on former coach Gary Williams' shoulder about being stuck in "Alaska." Think what you want about an athletic department that has fallen on hard economic times over the last few years. The imminent move to the Big Ten conference is a sad development, not only for the culture and tradition of the University of Maryland, but a difficult pill to swallow for those that love and cherish the history of the ACC.

Maryland's emergence as an eastern power in the 1970s under Lefty Driesell was an enormous part of the elevation of the ACC to the premiere college basketball league in the country. The battles between the Terrapins and NC State were legendary with Elmore, McMillan and Lucas going toe to toe with Thompson, Burleson and Towe. There was Buck Williams, Albert King and Len Bias in the 80s, Joe Smith and Steve Francis in the 90s, then Juan Dixon, Steve Blake and company won it all for Gary Williams just after the turn of the last century.

That's gone and it isn't coming back.

College basketball doesn't do nostalgia anymore. Syracuse, Notre Dame, Pittsburgh and Louisville have their own history and it has nothing to do with the ACC. What's coming are big games and great events -- providing the conference does the scheduling aspect correctly -- but we're decades away from any meaningful history being established.

Another loss for the league also packed up his bags and trudged out the doors of the Greensboro Coliseum Thursday afternoon. A 76-year old former disc jockey whose work is featured in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Johnny Holliday has been the voice of the Terrapins since 1979. We're a league that reveres, almost deifies those voices. We did with Woody Durham in Chapel Hill, we do with Bob Harris in Durham and Holliday takes a back seat to no one when it comes to connecting with fans and being associated with the program.

He's gone. Along with the school for which he broadcasts, he's off to the Big Ten, taking his voice and his generosity with him.

In 1988, with the Terrapins heading to the NCAA Tournament's Southeast Regional in Cincinnati, WMUC radio, the student station was wondering if they'd be able to afford the trip. Having covered the basketball team all through the regular season and ACC tournament there just wasn't enough money in the budget to secure everything necessary to pull it off. We were still trying to figure out how to make the trip possible when then coach Bob Wade held his pre-NCAA press conference at Cole Field House. It was that Monday when Holliday asked us when we planned on leaving for the Queen City. When we told him we weren't sure we were going to be able to make it, there was no hesitation.

Holliday reached into his back pocket, pulled out his wallet and handed us enough cash to cover the necessary costs of broadcasting the tournament. Johnny said that we had to experience calling an NCAA tournament game, that we would never forget the feeling in the arena. He was right. He also didn't have to reach into his own pocket to make it happen. He could have lobbied the athletic department to cover the expenses. He could have asked a sponsor.

It was one of the most generous and selfless acts of kindness I've ever experienced in my career -- heck, I wasn't even having a career at that time. To this day, I have no real recollection as to the amount. I'm sure that every time I tell the story the gift goes up about 10%. It doesn't matter. Again, there was no hesitation.

They say it's not the gift that matters, it's the thought that counts. Well, the thought of Johnny Holliday never gracing the ACC tournament with his presence again is a thought I'd rather not let linger. Maryland will definitely be missed, but Louisville will fill their spot in the standings.

People the likes of Johnny Holliday will be never be replaced.  In this regard, the Big Ten is the big winner.

16 Comments

Please to add a comment.

Oldest First
View all
  • Hammerhead Mar 14, 2014

    View quoted thread



    I know, just thought I'd throw it out there. The ACC has some pretty decent teams every year. As it stands, there are only 8 men's sports at MD, and the wrestling team is usually pretty good.

  • cal008 Mar 14, 2014

    View quoted thread


    Actually, we've been playing against Penn St, Mich and other B1G teams for a few years in the Invitationals, and have done pretty well. But of course, I don't think UM was too concerned about wrestling revenue when they said yes. We'll just have to be satisfied with winning in the other sports.

  • Hammerhead Mar 14, 2014

    The wrestling team is in for a rude awakening.

  • Jeanne Gunn Mar 14, 2014

    View quoted thread



    Agree about every fan base having "those" fans. Maryland seems to have a reputation for having more, for some reason. You've always been a very respectable poster here. I have nothing against Maryland. Gary Williams was an incredible coach, and he was very entertaining to watch. Mark Turgeon is a good coach, and he'll build a good program at Maryland.

    What people don't seem to understand is that Maryland's decision to leave the ACC was financial driven, but not greed driven. They had to cut several athletic programs due to lack of funds, and they see bolting to the B1G as a way to help their financial struggles. I wish them well and I don't like to see a founding member of the ACC leave.

  • cal008 Mar 14, 2014

    OK, being a UM (and Campbell) alum I have been going back and forth as to the merits and detractions regarding the move to the B1G. And yes, I realize there are those fans that are "glad" to see the Terps gone. But if you think about why you "hate" MD, or are glad to see us go, the majority of reasons is because of the tremendous games and contests that, as ACC original members we are (were), helped to contribute to such a great league. Yes, I hear it all the time about the Terp fans, and everyone knows that EVERY team has its detractors, but that aside it will take quite awhile to generate that collegiate animosity and angst against a challenging foe. Remember, as Bball goes the winningest 3 teams in the league over the last 30 yrs is Duke, UNC and MD in that order and only MD beat Duke at Cameron more than anyone (except UNC). Adios ACC, it was a great ride.

  • heelsforever Mar 14, 2014

    View quoted thread



    For the record, UMd made the decision to bolt on their own. AND "Swofford and Co." did what was necessary to keep the ACC from becoming the victim of raids.

  • thomasew Mar 14, 2014

    It isn't good to see a charter member school leave for another conference. As Richard4 stated, when the President openly says its all about the money, that tells us where the priority lies. It isn't about loyalty, or tradition, or rivalries, its about the $s, sad but true. I'm no Maryland fan, never have been, but losing them to the Big Ten is not a good thing. I've attended a few women's basketball games, and while I do admire the passion of the lady Terp fans, I have to say they are the most obnoxious people I've ever been around. Had to move seats the last time they played in the NCAA at PNC due to not being able to enjoy the game b/c of the Terp fans. However, I did get a lot of satisfaction out of seeing Notre Dame hammer the lady Terps though!

  • LuvsThePack Mar 14, 2014

    Eff Maryland. Good riddance. Don't let the door hit ya where the good Lord split ya.

    I won't miss them a bit. Neither will the ACC.

  • Knightwolf Mar 14, 2014

    got accepted to UM. Never set foot on the campus. B-Bye. Don't let the door hit ya'.

  • dookiepukie Mar 14, 2014

    Television and the big money it generates has destroyed the old ACC, not Swofford. Times, they are a changing...

More...

 

 

  • PGA: AT&T Byron Nelson Championship

    Saturday at 3:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • NASL: RailHawks at Jacksonville

    Saturday at 7:30 pm on WRAL-2

  • PGA: AT&T Byron Nelson Championship

    Sunday at 3:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • MiLB: Bulls vs. Rochester

    Today at 12:50 pm on Buzz Sports Radio

  • NBA: Houston at Golden State

    Tonight at 9:00 on 99.9 The Fan

  • MiLB: Bulls vs. Syracuse

    Friday at 6:50 pm on Buzz Sports Radio

  • NBA: Golden State at Houston

    Friday at 9:00 pm on 99.9 The Fan

Scoreboard
Local
Final
ROC 1
DUR 2
 
1:05pm Today
ROC
DUR
 
2:30pm Friday
STONYBROOK
NCSTATE
 
7:05pm Friday
SYR
DUR
 
6:35pm Saturday
SYR
DUR
 
5:05pm Sunday
SYR
DUR
 
Final
HOU 4
BAL 1
Final
KAN 1
NYY 5
Final
MIA 1
PIT 5
Final
WAS 2
CHC 3
Final
CWS 9
TOR 10
Final
COL 1
CIN 2
Final
PHI 4
NYM 5
Final
SEA 7
TAM 6
Final
TEX 4
CLE 3
9th
BOS 1
MIN 2
 
Final
SFG 6
MIL 3
Final
ARI 4
STL 6
7th
DET 1
OAK 0
 
7th
SDP 0
ANA 0
 
6th
ATL 0
LOS 8
 
12:10pm Today
TEX
CLE
 
12:35pm Today
COL
CIN
 
12:35pm Today
MIA
PIT
 
12:37pm Today
CWS
TOR
 
1:05pm Today
KAN
NYY
 
1:10pm Today
BOS
MIN
 
1:10pm Today
PHI
NYM
 
1:10pm Today
SEA
TAM
 
1:40pm Today
SFG
MIL
 
3:35pm Today
DET
OAK
 
4:35pm Today
HOU
BAL
 
8:05pm Tonight
WAS
CHC
 
8:15pm Tonight
ARI
STL
 
10:05pm Tonight
SDP
ANA
 
10:10pm Tonight
ATL
LOS
 
1:05pm Thursday
CWS
BAL
 
4:35pm Thursday
CWS
BAL
 
8:05pm Thursday
BOS
TEX
 
10:05pm Thursday
DET
ANA
 
10:05pm Thursday
NYY
OAK
 
10:10pm Thursday
CLE
SEA
 
10:10pm Thursday
PIT
SDP
 
10:15pm Thursday
ATL
SFG
 
4:05pm Friday
KAN
CHC
 
7:05pm Friday
COL
PHI
 
7:05pm Friday
TAM
BAL
 
7:10pm Friday
MIA
NYM
 
7:10pm Friday
WAS
CIN
 
8:05pm Friday
BOS
TEX
 
8:10pm Friday
ARI
MIL
 
8:10pm Friday
CWS
HOU
 
8:10pm Friday
TOR
MIN
 
8:15pm Friday
LOS
STL
 
10:05pm Friday
DET
ANA
 
10:05pm Friday
NYY
OAK
 
10:10pm Friday
CLE
SEA
 
10:10pm Friday
PIT
SDP
 
10:15pm Friday
ATL
SFG
 
2:10pm Saturday
TOR
MIN
 
3:05pm Saturday
COL
PHI
 
4:05pm Saturday
TAM
BAL
 
4:10pm Saturday
ARI
MIL
 
4:10pm Saturday
CWS
HOU
 
4:10pm Saturday
MIA
NYM
 
4:10pm Saturday
WAS
CIN
 
7:15pm Saturday
BOS
TEX
 
7:15pm Saturday
KAN
CHC
 
7:15pm Saturday
LOS
STL
 
10:05pm Saturday
ATL
SFG
 
10:05pm Saturday
DET
ANA
 
10:05pm Saturday
NYY
OAK
 
10:10pm Saturday
CLE
SEA
 
10:10pm Saturday
PIT
SDP
 
1:10pm Sunday
MIA
NYM
 
1:10pm Sunday
WAS
CIN
 
1:35pm Sunday
COL
PHI
 
1:35pm Sunday
TAM
BAL
 
2:10pm Sunday
ARI
MIL
 
2:10pm Sunday
CWS
HOU
 
2:10pm Sunday
TOR
MIN
 
2:15pm Sunday
LOS
STL
 
2:20pm Sunday
KAN
CHC
 
3:05pm Sunday
BOS
TEX
 
4:05pm Sunday
ATL
SFG
 
4:05pm Sunday
NYY
OAK
 
4:10pm Sunday
CLE
SEA
 
8:05pm Sunday
DET
ANA
 
9:10pm Sunday
PIT
SDP
 
Final
ATL 88
CLE 118
9:00pm Tonight
HOU
GSW
 
8:30pm Thursday
CLE
ATL
 
9:00pm Friday
GSW
HOU
 
8:30pm Saturday
ATL
CLE
 
9:00pm Sunday
HOU
GSW
 
Final
NYR 7
TAM 3
8:00pm Tonight
ANA
CHI
 
8:00pm Friday
TAM
NYR
 
8:00pm Saturday
CHI
ANA
 
12:00pm Friday
AUBURN
CHARLESTON
 
1:00pm Friday
CALIFORNIA
CCAROLINA
 
1:00pm Friday
COLUMBIA
ECAROLINA
 
1:00pm Friday
ORALROBRTS
ARKANSAS
 
1:00pm Friday
OREGON
IOWA
 
1:00pm Friday
SFLORIDA
FAU
 
1:00pm Friday
WRIGHTST
NOTREDAME
 
2:00pm Friday
MICHIGAN
BRADLEY
 
2:30pm Friday
STONYBROOK
NCSTATE
 
2:30pm Friday
TEXAS
OREGONST
 
3:00pm Friday
INDIANA
RADFORD
 
3:30pm Friday
ULLAFAYETE
RICE
 
4:00pm Friday
LEHIGH
LSU
 
6:00pm Friday
CANISIUS
SWMISSOURI
 
6:00pm Friday
CLEMSON
ARIZONAST
 
6:00pm Friday
MERCER
FLORIDAST
 
6:00pm Friday
MOREHEADST
LOUISVILLE
 
6:00pm Friday
VIRGINIA
USC
 
7:00pm Friday
FIU
MIAFLA
 
7:00pm Friday
FLAAM
FLORIDA
 
7:00pm Friday
MARYLAND
MISS
 
7:00pm Friday
SACREDHART
TCU
 
7:00pm Friday
STJOHNS
OKLAHOMAST
 
7:00pm Friday
TSOUTHERN
TEXASAM
 
7:00pm Friday
VCU
DALLASBAPT
 
8:00pm Friday
HSTNBAPT
HOUSTON
 
8:00pm Friday
LIPSCOMB
VANDERBILT
 
8:00pm Friday
OHIO
ILLINOIS
 
8:00pm Friday
TULANE
NWILMINGTN
 
10:00pm Friday
PEPPERDINE
FULLERTON
 
10:00pm Friday
SANDIEGOST
CSANTABAR
 
11:00pm Friday
CSBAKER
UCLA
 
Final
ROC 1
DUR 2
 
1:05pm Today
ROC
DUR
 
7:05pm Friday
SYR
DUR
 
6:35pm Saturday
SYR
DUR
 
5:05pm Sunday
SYR
DUR