Gophers: Where's the loyalty?

Knight Ridder Newspapers

MINNEAPOLIS -- Brenda Oldfield will be introduced today as the women's basketball coach at the University of Maryland. By the time she steps to a podium in College Park, Md., flashing the same radiant smile she displayed the past 10 months at the University of Minnesota, some of the sadness and disappointment will have worn off for her former players and employers.

By Tuesday afternoon, freshman center Janel McCarville was giggling in the media room with several teammates. Tuesday morning, McCarville was unable to finish an interview because she broke down and cried while discussing Oldfield.

"A lot of things just hit me at that time," McCarville said. "Everything's in perspective now. It's time for us to stick together and move on."

Oldfield met with her Minnesota players Tuesday morning at the apartment of one of the players. One player said everybody in the room had tears in their eyes, including Oldfield, who struggled to express her feelings.


Still, Oldfield's departure after one season led some players to question Oldfield's sincerity.

"At what point do we get some loyalty?" Gophers All-America guard Lindsay Whalen said. "We had been working so long to get things right again. Sometimes you wonder if there's any loyalty at all."

After meeting with her Minnesota players, Oldfield left for the airport for a flight to Baltimore.

"This is a dream and a chance of a lifetime, and I knew it was a special fit," Oldfield said in a statement released by Maryland.

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