A weekend full of answer-seeking phone calls for many Maryland players
Maryland senior linebacker Adrian Moten and the rest of the Terrapins got to go home for a few days last weekend, though it didn't end up being an entirely stress-free and relaxing respite.
On Friday, it became clear that there were a lot of questions that needed to be answered regarding the Maryland football program. Among the main queries: Who, exactly was going to coach the team in the Military Bowl on Dec. 29?
This was the question Moten kept asking as he made phone call after phone call to teammates, coaches and anyone else who might possess the answer. For a while, no answer could be found.
"It was pretty crazy," Moten said.
As it turned out, Ralph Friedgen will coach the team's 13th game this season. But it will be his final game at Maryland's helm. Athletic Director Kevin Anderson announced Monday that Friedgen will be fired, effective Jan. 2.
"As big a decision as it is for Mr. Anderson to make, it’s been Coach Friedgen’s lifestyle the past 10 years, his family’s lifestyle," junior wide receiver Torrey Smith said. "It’s definitely a big change. There’s a lot that goes into it besides just going out and competing, the Xs and Os and being around us. It’s definitely tough on (Friedgen), but I think he’s handled it the best anyone could in his situation."
Here are some other players' thoughts on Friedgen's firing and its ensuing fallout:
Redshirt freshman Danny O'Brien: "Everyone’s got their opinions, but I think as it is kind of settling in, people are collecting themselves and coming to the realization that we have a game to play. And we want to send Coach Friedgen out the right way, with a win, which would be the best way to do it, to be 9-4 and have a chance to be in the top 25, which was one of our goals at the beginning of the season."
Senior linebacker Adrian Moten: "Basically, they talk about not giving you another contract or not trying to negotiate you another contract, that’s hard to face ... I feel for him. He’s a great coach."
Smith: "I came here to play for him. I didn’t come here to play for anyone else. It’s definitely tough. And that’s the case for a lot of players. You come here to play for a coach and play for a program. At the same time, you have to represent the school. They make the executive decisions, and you have to kind of live with it. It’s definitely tough when you come in to play for a certain group of coaches, and the next day, they’re not there. But it’s a business, so I understand it."
Senior linebacker Alex Wujciak on who the program's next coach might be: "Obviously, everyone’s heard Mike Leach. Who knows what’s going to happen? That’s something that we can’t even control, so you might as well not even worry about it."
| December 23, 2010; 10:05 AM ET
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