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O'Malley: Not involved in future of Terps football coach

Governor

Gov. Martin O'Malley (D) acknowledged rumors Tuesday about his involvement in the future of Maryland football coach Ralph Friedgen but told reporters that neither he nor his staff have intervened.

University officials are reportedly wrestling with whether to retain Friedgen or buy out the remaining $4 million of his contract, possibly borrowing from the university endowment. The Terrapins are 2-9 this year.

"I leave to the university to manage its sports and most everything else that goes with the university," O'Malley said following an unrelated event in Annapolis. "I haven't gotten into this at all. I really haven't."

O'Malley said that he "would hope they would not use public funds to buy out the contract," but he declined to elaborate on what exactly would fall under the definition of "public funds."

"I don't even want to get into the hypothetical, because I'm not involved in any way," the governor said. "I don't mean to be dismissive of the big news of the day. ... This all dusted up as something out of you guys today."

Lobbyists for both the University of Maryland and the university system said they had not heard from O'Malley nor his staff on the issue.

In a radio interview earlier in the day, O'Malley agreed that Terps fans have endured a dismal season.

"It's been a disappointing year for Maryland," O'Malley said on WTOP. "It's been a rough year for Terps fans."

By Anne Bartlett  |  November 24, 2009; 5:25 PM ET
Categories:  Governor , John Wagner  
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Comments

Whose idea is it to give Ralph a $4 million golden parachute? We cannot afford that. Why do we give 90 scholarships to football when 11 guys can play at a time and NFL teams can have only 55 on their roster? Give some of those scholarships to other sports.
Maryland's football coach needs to inspire the players to win.

Posted by: robinficker | November 25, 2009 3:18 AM | Report abuse

The question really shouldn't be about the $4 million "failure bonus." The real question is why are we paying a football coach $1 million annually in the first place? Let's make it simple: pay the coach no more than ten times what the highest paid player gets. What's that? The players are made to work for free? Hmm. Looks like we have TWO problems to fix...

Posted by: WoodrowRoosevelt | November 25, 2009 12:27 PM | Report abuse

Let me tell you what I would do about the Terps if I were Governor. Football is a simple game. You have to be able to run 40 yards fast and you have to be able to knock the guy in front of you on his butt.

l. I would pare down the number of guys on scholarship from 90 and give some to the wrestling team which has 4 returning All Americans.

2. I would impose a 1 a.m. curfew on the team during the season.

2. I would get every player a weight set in his room. Instead of roaming Route 1, they can go back and pump some iron. Every player should be able to bench 350+.

3. I would talk to the players for two minutes before evey game about why the people of Maryland want them to be #l and why they should refuse to lose.

4. I would lead the band at half time for a fight song and give a one minute speach to the fans to tell them why they should be the twelfth man in the second half.

5. I would have the team down to the Mansion in Annapolis for lunch to tell them why it is their duty to make opponents Fear the
Turtle!

6. I would do pretty much the same thing for basketball. I did not like the way the team lost twice in Hawaii. I'd give every player some free throw instruction because 23% of the points in a college game are scored at the line. And I would give each one a jump rope and a little book to record their number of jumps each day to improve their play above their opponents.

Posted by: robinficker | November 26, 2009 4:19 AM | Report abuse

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