Looks like MU has some fences to mend with its all-time leading scorer, George Thompson. Yesterday, Thompson decided to resolve an issue with MU via the media rather than simply picking up the phone and dialing the institution he's been affiliated with for some 40 years. Bob Wolfley penned a blistering account of the gaffe in today's paper.
Thompson learned Monday that his number had been unretired from a friend - and this is the part that irks him - who attended the University of Wisconsin. The guy was teasing Thompson about it.
"What's this about your number being unretired?" the friend asked, Thompson told a reporter who called about the issue. "I said, 'What are you talking about?' He said, 'Well, they have a freshman wearing number 24. I thought once they retired a number, it was retired.' "
GT is clearly pissed off.
"It's unfortunate that no one down there, whoever made the decision, had the balls to call me and at least tell me they were doing it," Thompson said.
Hey George, what's unfortunate is that you took this issue to the media first. Nothing like airing dirty laundry, eh? As you point out in the article, you've been affiliated with MU for decades and have known Cords and Crean for a long period of time. Why throw your Alma Mater under the bus?
GT, you should have run a smarter play here.
Regardless, Bill Cords, ever the team player, came to the rescue
"Oh, geez," Cords said when told of Thompson's reaction. "No one would ever, ever here in this program or at this university would ever do anything to (offend him). We revere George Thompson. . . . Nobody wants to do anything to make anybody feel badly."
Perhaps as a result, Cords called later Wednesday to reveal that starting with the Golden Eagles' next game Saturday against Eastern Michigan, Hayward would wear No. 32.
What a most unpleasant misunderstanding. Bill Cords, we're gonna miss ya. GT, here's a URL with a list of phone numbers and contact information for the MU athletic department.