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Friedgen's buyout will not be an obstacle

Sources say the more than $4 million needed to buy out Coach Ralph Friedgen's contract will not be an obstacle should Maryland want to make a coaching change. Read Eric Prisbell's story, which also details the Terrapins' loss to Florida State on Saturday, here.

By Matt Bonesteel  |  November 21, 2009; 6:20 PM ET
Categories:  Football  
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"There have been a lot of games," Friedgen said, "that we lost that we should have won."


Posted by: Poopy_McPoop | November 21, 2009 7:01 PM | Report abuse

About Friedgen's departure: how would it benefit Maryland's football program?

Seems to me there are a couple good reasons for buying Ralph out, and a couple good reasons against it.

Reasons for a buyout:
1) He's going to retire anyway, which was a main reason Yow pushed for the agreement with Franklin, despite its flaws; and
2) He's not helping recruiting. No secret that Maryland has been outrecruited (badly) by Penn State and others in the Maryland/ DC area. That's the same problem facing the basketball program, by the way. It's not entirely Freidgen's fault, but neither does his continued presence seem to be correcting it.

Reasons against the change:
1) It costs $4 million bucks, at the very least. Maryland may insist the money's 'not an obstacle', but if you believe that, you've never spent any time around a State legislature during a budget shortfall. The deal with Franklin looks now like a mistake.
2) There's no guarantee Maryland finds someone better to replace Ralph (and Franklin, too, if they decide to buy him out, which is a strong possibility). You're a hot young football coach -- do you want to work for Debbie Yow? Let's just say this about Debbie -- she produces a great women's basketball team.

Has the game passed Fridge by, as a coach? Of course not. Franklin, either. Their weakness is recruiting, plain and simple. There's a way to correct that without hiring a new head coach and offensive coordinator. And it won't cost the U another four mil, either.

But they may fire Ralph anyway, because that's what universities, and voters, and corporations like to do, as a PR move -- throw somebody under the bus. It almost never works, of course, unless you've got something better waiting in the wings.

Does Maryland have something better behind the curtain?


Posted by: Samson151 | November 22, 2009 7:54 AM | Report abuse

If anybody thinks that somebody is going to come in and out-recruit the Fridge (or Gary for that matter) you better think again.

The Administration (and when I say that, I mean the people higher up than Debbie Yow) is still spooked by the ghost of Len Bias. Until that changes, Maryland will NEVER meet the lofty expectations of its fanbase.

And if you don't believe that the upper levels of the Administration can harm the football program, look no further than Steve Spurrier. Did he forget how to coach and recruit during his three years away from the college game? No he did not. He's struggling at South Carolina because he isn't getting the support at South Carolina that he got at Florida and that's why the Gators have continued to be one of the elite teams after losing Spurrier and the Gamecocks can barely get off the mat with him.

Posted by: CapsNut | November 22, 2009 11:29 AM | Report abuse

C'mon where's a certain poster to tell us that our 2-9 Terps are great and looking good, that .500-Fridge (now sub-.500) is the best coach ever and should coach here until the cows come home?

Who'll have more losses this year, the UMD football or basketball team?

Posted by: Poopy_McPoop | November 22, 2009 12:22 PM | Report abuse

Yesterday was hard to watch at the end--we needed ten yards, one first down to put em away. When they know your going to about a play action fake to the running back and a safe pass? How about one of those passes to smith in the flat?--good for 3 to 5 yds. The coaches ask the players to believe--but do the coaches believe in the players?? Finally, not all of the meltdown is the fault of the coaches. We have seen what happened with the basketball program and the athletic dept last season. One would be mistaken to think the same issues dont exist with football. Which begs the same question for the folks at the University---in football, do you want to be Penn or Penn State? It is the responsibility of the President and the Athletic Director to set the strategy and then give their people the tools to excel--because just competing will not cut it--that type of effort isnt fair to the coaches, players, students and alumni of a great institution!! So what is is going to be?? No reason why we cant be great---no reason at all!!

Posted by: beardown29 | November 22, 2009 1:02 PM | Report abuse

It's going to take 5 million to buy both of these coaches out. Then you will have to spend 2 million a year (minimum) to bring in a reputable coach. With the budget issues faced by the university, I just can't imagine this happening.

I think Friedgen will get one more year.

Posted by: imterpsfan2 | November 22, 2009 3:20 PM | Report abuse

The other scenario I could see happening is that Friedgen retires when faced with the requirement that he will have to make wholesale changes to the staff in order to remain coach.

Posted by: imterpsfan2 | November 22, 2009 3:22 PM | Report abuse

The other question I have is whether a coach like Patterson at TCU would view the Maryland job as an upgrade.

If I were AD, I'd buy these guys out and hire Bud Foster. This guy can coach and he will bring with him assistants who have great recruiting connections, particular in the Virginia Beach area.

Posted by: imterpsfan2 | November 22, 2009 3:27 PM | Report abuse

What exactly is the administration supposed to do to support the football team? Seems like the administration recently expanded Byrd Stadium, added luxury suites, and upgraded the Gossett House facility.

If it means allowing admissions exceptions for thugs and guys who can't spell 'cat', well, I'm not in for that.

Posted by: imterpsfan2 | November 22, 2009 3:29 PM | Report abuse

what is the adminstration supposed to do?? well all of the upgrades mentioned above were always 5 years behind what the competition was doing. We beat Va Tech at MD in one of Beamer's early years--around 1990---look where Va Tech is and where we are--we have run through 3 coaches and are about to run through the 4th. i dont want thugs either--but many good players are going other places because they see that those institutions are committed to competing at the highest level--for a championship. MD does it in every other sport---just not football. the best players are going tp PennSt, Va Tech, even WVU because they appear to be more committed than MD. The next coach will take the improvements recently made and possibly recruit better. They should have put in an upper deck in the north endzone when they were selling out in 2001-2003---you ask Fridge, that is what he wanted--to create atmosphere at the games. Big sells!! they needed too many improvements at one time because they didnt do it along the way. and MD is still behind!!!

Posted by: beardown29 | November 22, 2009 4:10 PM | Report abuse

I don't think Friedgen is a good judge of talent. And I think he lets emotion cloud his judgment.

I still remember a few years back when he said that Jordan Steffy was far ahead of any of the other quarterbacks, including Chris Turner. That still sticks in my mind because no coach with his head on straight would make such a ludicrous comment.

I remember a few years earlier, he started Joel Statham for a year and a half when the best quarterback, Sam Hollenbach, was mired on the third string.

Then this year he puts Kenny Tate at safety. It's clear to anyone that Tate should be back at receiver. It's a colossal waste of talent to put him in a position he's never played before.

And the reason Tate was put at safety to begin with was because they recruited far too many wide receivers and far too few defensive backs.

Posted by: imterpsfan2 | November 22, 2009 6:26 PM | Report abuse

"No reason why we can't be great, no reason at all." Remember the song from Damn Yankees, 'all you gotta have is heart'? How about the cliche that 'ya gotta believe'? What about the competition - these childish beliefs don't apply equally to them? Are these realistic expectations? The university clearly should not modify standards to bring in academically sub-marginal players. Unless there's been a change in law recently, Maryland cannot use appropriated funds to buy out coaches - so the money necessary to buy out old and pay new coaches will have to come from wealthy Terp fans. Any volunteers on this blog? IMO, UMd provides the correct level of support for extramural athletics. Particularly given the low level of financial support appropriated by the legislature to the university. The fact is, sports fans, that UMd does very well indeed given their circumstances. The occasional bad year is to be expected given the levels of competition and support.

Posted by: AncientTerp | November 22, 2009 8:18 PM | Report abuse

Damn Yankees? C'mon man. MD could support the revenue sports more, there's no arguing that. But you're right, Fridge does ok given the level of support he receives. That includes the fans, who are weak for football. Thank God we just lost in field hockey, so they can't claim another National Championship that no one cares about.

And Kenny Tate is going to be a beast at safety. He had the option to go back to WR in the spring, but he wanted to stay on D. I agree with you on qb's though.

Posted by: GerrardorTorres | November 23, 2009 7:55 AM | Report abuse

I remember a few years earlier, he started Joel Statham for a year and a half when the best quarterback, Sam Hollenbach, was mired on the third string.

Then this year he puts Kenny Tate at safety. It's clear to anyone that Tate should be back at receiver. It's a colossal waste of talent to put him in a position he's never played before.

And the reason Tate was put at safety to begin with was because they recruited far too many wide receivers and far too few defensive backs.

Posted by: imterpsfan2 | November 22, 2009 6:26 PM

You are right to an extent about the QBs thing. He stuck with Steffy too long...however, you keep claiming Statham played 2 years. He never even finished 1 year. He played exactly 1 game in his junior year, against FSU, only because Hollenbach was hurt.

Posted by: Barno1 | November 23, 2009 4:42 PM | Report abuse

Am I missing something, how is football a revenue sport? I remember about 5 years ago the NY TImes did a story as the UCF Bulls were adopting football and they reported that only about 10 programs a year turn a profit. Huge travel and insurance expenditures, ludicrous coaching salaries and you got 6 or 7 home games to produce revenue. I'm guessing MD hoops keeps the coffers full but the only way MD football is in the black is if the high rollers are opening their wallets outta the goodness of their hearts as they sure covering costs from the gate receipts at Byrd this year.

Posted by: cjterps98 | November 23, 2009 6:58 PM | Report abuse

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