There could not have been a worse time for this, given the ongoing Lefty-Gary-Turgeon thing that, for reasons I still don't understand, people keep talking about. But it's overdue regardless, given the Lefthander's grand impact on Maryland basketball (and it was grand indeed).
The University of Maryland athletics department will dedicate a bronze bas-relief of legendary basketball coach Charles "Lefty" Driesell in Comcast Center on April 16, 2013, director of athletics Kevin Anderson announced today.
In addition to the bas-relief that will be unveiled on April 16, Driesell will be honored at Maryland's home game vs. Clemson on Saturday, Feb. 23 at noon.
A bas-relief ain't a statue or even a bust, either of which would've been preferable, but it's also a hell of a lot cheaper than either. I have no idea where they'll put it within the Comcastle itself, nor what the content of the relief will be, but I sure as hell hope this pose is included somewhere.
More importantly, this should help squelch some of the discontent that was coming from Maryland basketball's Old Guard over Gary getting the court and Lefty getting ... nothing. Maryland's program is pretty unique in how big of a divide there is within it; where most programs are like one big family, there's always been a massive disconnect between Lefty's era and Gary's era (for obvious reasons). One of the obvious goals since Turgeon's come on has been to mend that gap as much as possible and build as much of a family atmosphere around the program as possible. Bringing back Eric Hayes on the staff and having Juan Dixon hang around while he continues his comeback bid are two obvious examples, but the efforts took a hit when Gary got the court, which angered some. This will hopefully heal that wound.
Regardless of opinion on Lefty, Gary, and Turgeon - and I'll have a quick trigger-finger on that in this thread, since that conversation has dominated every post for the past three days - Driesell is a massive figure in Maryland basketball and deserved some serious, consistent recognition within the program. I'm happy to see him get it.