W&M athletes' decisions to move tell the tale

Despite the College of William and Mary men's basketball team having a losing record (14-17) for the first time in several seasons, and losing in the quarter-finals of the CAA Tournament, Tribe basketball fans had good reason to be optimistic about the 2019-20 season: Six of Coach Shaver's primary seven-man rotation (including the five leading scorers) were going to return. Also, a 7-foot transfer would be eligible to play.

This returning group promised to be one of the best — if not the best — returning group William and Mary has ever had. It certainly was a group with the potential to end William and Mary's failure to make the NCAA Tournament. They did not count, however, on Athletic Director Samantha Huge's ability to destroy this optimism.

Almost immediately after the CAA Tournament loss, she abruptly fired Coach Shaver and replaced him with her obviously pre-selected choice. This firing led to a series of events which, so far, has resulted in the departure through transfer of four of the returning six players, and another one's decision to declare for the NBA draft. Although the last of these has until May 29 to withdraw from the draft, he still could enter the transfer portal.

In short, although Huge's stated reason for firing a popular coach was a failure to qualify for the NCAA Tournament, by doing so she guaranteed that the team is unlikely to come close to qualifying anytime in the next several years. Perhaps it was the wrong person who was fired.

Douglas Wood


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