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Posted at 10:52 AM ET, 12/ 5/2010

Vanderbilt and Franklin, Friedgen and an extension

By Eric Prisbell

Just as Maryland looks to lock down its bowl destination tonight, coaching speculation heats up:

Late Saturday night, ESPN’s Bruce Feldman tweeted that James Franklin, Maryland’s offensive coordinator and coach in waiting, is under consideration for Vanderbilt’s head coaching opening. A source close to Franklin told me Sunday morning that Franklin is indeed garnering interest, though he is not considered the leading candidate at this time. Robbie Caldwell resigned as Vanderbilt’s head football coach on Nov. 27, hours before the Commodores concluded their season against Wake Forest. They were 2-10 in his first season as head coach. Larry Coker, the former Miami coach, is reportedly interested in the position. Temple Coach Al Golden is reportedly near the top of Vanderbilt's wish list.

Franklin, who was named Coach Ralph Friedgen’s eventual successor in February 2009, is the engine behind Maryland’s recruiting efforts. He also stands as a big reason why standout quarterback Danny O’Brien chose Maryland; the two saw eye to eye and O’Brien liked Franklin’s high expectations and meticulous preparation habits. According to his contract, Franklin is due $1 million if he is not named head coach at Maryland by January 2012.

At the same time, Friedgen, the ACC’s newly minted coach of the year, is awaiting word on his future beyond the 2011 season. On Nov. 18, first-year Athletic Director Kevin Anderson announced that Friedgen would return for an 11th season in 2011, the final year of his contract. Anderson also said in a statement that he and Friedgen would discuss the future of the program – presumably Friedgen’s future – after the season. A few weeks ago, Friedgen said that he has been telling high school prospects that he plans on coaching for the majority of their college careers. But he said in a radio interview on Thursday with The Sports Junkies -- click here to listen --- that not having an extension at this point, “Does not help me.” He also said that while there has been some discussion with school officials about the future, they are “not willing to commit to anything yet.” And then you have Friedgen's attorney, Jack Reale, who told The Baltimore Sun that Friedgen 'has earned' an extension. The sentiment expressed by Friedgen and his attorney should surprise few -- Friedgen has repeatedly said he wants to coach beyond 2011 -- but some may be surprised by both individuals discussing the need for an extension publicly at this time.

Regardless of the outcome, reports of coaching uncertainty do not help recruiting. Prospects who will sign national letter of intents in early February want to know if Friedgen, Franklin, both or neither will be there in 2012. From the vantage point of the school, when it comes to the long-term vision of the football program, there are also financial considerations and the immediate concern about how to fill Byrd Stadium. Maryland fell some $600,000 short of projected season ticket sales revenue in 2009, officials said. In 2010, season ticket sales fell for a fifth straight season, and the season ticket total of roughly 19,000 fell 1,000 short of projections.

This is not a simple situation to untangle. There is no easy solution when it comes to Maryland football 2012. What should AD Anderson do, and when should he do it?

By Eric Prisbell  | December 5, 2010; 10:52 AM ET
Categories:  Football, Ralph Friedgen  
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Comments

He should do just what he is doing. Make Ralph earn an extension next year. Wish Franklin well if he leaves. Prepare to pay him the $1 million and NOT make him head coach. Start promoting the team's outlook and good home schedule for next year now. Develop a really good marketing plan and tie some incentives to buying tickets for the Military Bowl. Tell Ralph to have his lawyer to pipe down.

One thing that he hasn't done that he should: MAKE A MAJOR PUBLIC COMMITMENT TO WINNING AND COMPETING EVERY YEAR FOR THE ACC CHAMPIONSHIP. Read the comments of the Miami AD.

Posted by: petecard | December 5, 2010 11:39 AM | Report abuse

Why is the guy who has on countless occasions called for Gary Williams to be fired, Ralph Frieden to be fired, Greivis Vasquez to leave Maryland, and called Jordan Williams a bum--now giving his advice on what the school should do with Friedgen and Franlin? If the school had listened to Peter the Hate, our bball and football programs would be in the gutter right now, rather than having the reigning ACC basketball AND football coach of the year.

Posted by: Barno1 | December 5, 2010 12:20 PM | Report abuse

Barno, You are the scum of this board. How about just once commenting on the subject that has been posed and not about another poster? Get a life you retched soul.

Posted by: petecard | December 5, 2010 12:32 PM | Report abuse

Hah! I see Peter the Hate has moved on from claiming all those quotes from him demanding Gary and Fridge be fired were "taken out of context."

Posted by: Barno1 | December 5, 2010 12:47 PM | Report abuse

Pete is correct Barny...your ragging has gotten very stale...either post something relevant or be silent in your little purple suit

Posted by: TerpfanMA | December 5, 2010 12:56 PM | Report abuse

There is plenty going on with UMD today..

1) We will find out our Bowl selection

2) Big game vs Temple

3) Fridge has launched his campaign to extort more money from us because he beat NC State

4) Fridge has begun laying the groundwork for a poor Bowl showing but complaining that he may not be able to motivate the players vs ECU

5) JF may be leaving which, also creates a recruiting void...whose gonna fill that...Fridge?


Surely you must have something relevant to say

Posted by: TerpfanMA | December 5, 2010 1:08 PM | Report abuse

Anderson should do nothing until the contract expires. Maybe Franklin leaves. If he stays and Friedgen wants an extension, Anderson is looking at $1 million for Franklin plus $2+ million for Friedgen plus 50% more revenue from the ACC-ESPN deal.

Anderson will have a decent budget for a HC in 2012. He should tell recruits he's going to spend it on the very best coach available!

Posted by: RITerp | December 5, 2010 1:15 PM | Report abuse

Petecard's first comment is right on track. Friedgen needs to earn an extension. He dug himself out of a hole he's created...he has to show he can sustain this year's performance. He's not delivered on the promises he made when he took over. He has a solid foundation for next year. Deliver another year of 8-4 or better and then talk extension. If he doesn't we move on and find the guy for the future...Franklin, or whoever will be out there.

Posted by: DonRoberto1 | December 5, 2010 1:17 PM | Report abuse

Agreed RI....I suspect what may be going on here is a realization by Ralphie and Jack that next year will be much tougher and the likelihood is that he wont win as many games...

Putting your new boss on the defensive in such a public way (as he did with the bonuses after beating lowly WF) strikes me as a bad and desperate move...I doubt he would be worth $2M on the open market

Posted by: TerpfanMA | December 5, 2010 1:24 PM | Report abuse

TerpfanMA and Pete,

Serious questions, and please take them in a non-attacking manner. just trying to get an idea of where you guys are coming from.

What are your expectations for UMD Football?

What are you doing to help the team reach these expectations? Do you donate to the school? Terp Club? Attend the games to increase program revenue? Volunteer time/services to the program?

How many wins does Fridge need next year to earn an extension in your eyes?

Posted by: fushezzi | December 5, 2010 1:36 PM | Report abuse

fushezzi, Surely I will be attacked for this but it is nobody's business on this board what I do personally to support Maryland athletics or the university as a whole. People can say whatever they want about their contributions. Who knows if they tell the truth? Who cares? It is interesting that you pose the question to two people who root for the team, but are critical about where the program has been. Are you suggesting that everyone needs to be graded on their fandom? Should we test peoples' patriotism before we give them freedom of speech? Your questions are not serious. They are ludicrous.

I have said on numerous occasions on this board what I want the Maryland football program to be and what I think Ralph needs to do to warrant an extension. I want us to compete for the conference title most years (like Va. Tech and Florida State) and win our share of them. I want us to be ranked in the top 25 most years, say 6 or 7 out of 10. For the Fridge to get an extension, we need to have at least as good a year next year as we had this year. It would also help to have a core that suggests good things for the following year. Are my goals too high? Perhaps. But if we shoot for that we will have a lot more fun.

Posted by: petecard | December 5, 2010 2:01 PM | Report abuse

I'm really enjoying the Giants performance against the Deadskins as we speak. That Deadskin run defense is really impressive. Maybe the Terps could play them in the Military Bowl.

Posted by: petecard | December 5, 2010 2:11 PM | Report abuse

Petecard:

The only way your expectations become reality are if MD cuts 12 sports and uses the saved money to dump into football. That's how MD would become a perennial Top 25 team. There's a serious discussion to have about this, and I think it's a worthwhile discussion to have.

What is the mission of MD Athletics?

Funding will flow based on how the university answers that question.

Posted by: WheelsRI | December 5, 2010 2:16 PM | Report abuse

Fushezzi..I echo Petes comments about contributions to UMD..some will interpret that as and indication that I dont give anything and I dont really care since it is nobody's business and I havent seen anyone disclose financial or other contributions to the school on this board..and who would know if they were telling the truth anyway so its really meaningless...


My concerns about Fridge have been well documented and I am sure saved by Barny for future use..so without rehasing old news let me just answer your question directly...

I want Fridge to demonstrate (after his original success) that he has the ability to build and sustain a competitive, exciting football program....strictly in terms of wins/losses I think with the advantages that he has, that another 8 win season is reasonable and cause for excitement..what I dont want is another 5-6 win season next year because that will tell me that the improvement this year was really more of an illusion based upon a favorable schedule


The wind is at his back now (COY, DOB, O line, D, WRs) so hopefully he can translate it into success....I would be happy to admit I was wrong about him if he can pull it off

Posted by: TerpfanMA | December 5, 2010 2:55 PM | Report abuse

Being wrong is not an option, Terpfan. I have admitted to being wrong on numerous occasions and still have my old quotes thrown in my face and often taken out of context.

Giants just went up 28-0 on the 4th rushing TD. :)

Posted by: petecard | December 5, 2010 3:01 PM | Report abuse

Hasnt UMD invested $50,000,000 in football stadium, facilities improvements over the last decade...in part because Fridge said that he needed that in order to build a competitive football program????

Now he is prematurely asking for bonuses and a contract extension while we sit with empty seats and unsold lux boxes and he tells us he might not be able to motivate his players for the military bowl (if that comes to pass)

Posted by: TerpfanMA | December 5, 2010 3:05 PM | Report abuse

While I do think it is silly to brag about levels of donation I am thinking there is no way they donate to Terp Club or MGN.

The reason it is relevant is because boosters have a the biggest voice. Dollars are louder than words.

Pretty sure the Gossett family's opinion is listened to by the athletic department.

Posted by: garrett4 | December 5, 2010 3:06 PM | Report abuse

Giants just went up 28-0 on the 4th rushing TD. :)

Posted by: petecard | December 5, 2010 3:01 PM


LOL...just goes to show that more money doesnt always translate into success on the football field!!!! The real game is tomorrow night!!!

Posted by: TerpfanMA | December 5, 2010 3:11 PM | Report abuse

Someone please tell me who our best recruiter will be if JF leaves? Considering we were down 3 of our starting linemen on an already weak unit by the season's end, things could have been a lot worse for the offense.

Expect the offense to be a monster next year. Hopefully there is a lockout and Smith and Tate stay too.

Posted by: garrett4 | December 5, 2010 3:11 PM | Report abuse

I would be thrilled if Maryland cut sports to help pump up the 2 revenue sports. I don't think that will ever be on the table so it's kind of pointless to consider it though.

As for giving Friedgen an extension, I don't see why making him earn it next year would be so terrible. As long as the coach doesn't have a 4 year deal (and he hasn't for 3 years) recruits have to consider playing without him. Most of this roster (which people think is pretty talented) was recruited by a coach with an uncertain future. The coach will still try to operate as if he's staying and continue to recruit.

I'll admit I'm wrong about Friedgen if the Terps win their division next year. Until that time, I think the Terps can do better. Awards don't mean much. His award still didn't translate into more than 1 quality win and a lower-tier bowl. I think the ACC is weak enough that the Terps can start being a power again in the conference without having to drop a bunch of sports. Dominate the division and better bowls, bigger crowds, and better overall program awareness will be there.

Posted by: epdaly | December 5, 2010 3:39 PM | Report abuse

We finally get our recruiting straightened out since Franklin left before and now we are talking about letting him walk again? How does the Einstein saying go? Insanity is doing the same thing over and over,expecting a different result. That is what it would be if the Terps left Franklin walk.

Posted by: kaptainterp | December 5, 2010 4:05 PM | Report abuse

fushezzi, Surely I will be attacked for this but it is nobody's business on this board what I do personally to support Maryland athletics or the university as a whole. People can say whatever they want about their contributions. Who knows if they tell the truth? Who cares? It is interesting that you pose the question to two people who root for the team, but are critical about where the program has been. Are you suggesting that everyone needs to be graded on their fandom? Should we test peoples' patriotism before we give them freedom of speech? Your questions are not serious. They are ludicrous.

I have said on numerous occasions on this board what I want the Maryland football program to be and what I think Ralph needs to do to warrant an extension. I want us to compete for the conference title most years (like Va. Tech and Florida State) and win our share of them. I want us to be ranked in the top 25 most years, say 6 or 7 out of 10. For the Fridge to get an extension, we need to have at least as good a year next year as we had this year. It would also help to have a core that suggests good things for the following year. Are my goals too high? Perhaps. But if we shoot for that we will have a lot more fun.

Posted by: petecard | December 5, 2010 2:01 PM | Report abuse
-------------------------------

So in short...no, you don't contribute anything to the program. That's all you had to say.

You contribute nothing but expect and demand things in return. You're the TerpsInsider version of welfare.

Your comments are the equivalent of a janitor telling a nuero-surgeon what to do. You have the right to provide your opinion but you have no have no idea what you are talking about and no one bothers listening to you or taking what you say seriously.

That is all...carry on....

Posted by: fushezzi | December 5, 2010 5:07 PM | Report abuse

'As for giving Friedgen an extension, I don't see why making him earn it next year would be so terrible.'-Epdaly

A) he's already earned it. 7 bowls in 10 years is one of the most successful periods in MD football history. We owe so much to him and it's not unreasonable to give the 2-time ACC Coach of the year another few years.

B) It does hurt it recruiting when rival schools tell the recruits about the Fridge/Franklin situation. Our own AD is on record as opposing coach in waiting. Tom McMillen, who is on the UMD Board of Regents, is opposed to the coach in waiting. And a year from now, I don't think we'll be having this conversation because Fridge will have new deal and Franklin will be out as the in-waiting head coach.

Posted by: Barno1 | December 5, 2010 8:25 PM | Report abuse

fushezzi, are you and Barno twins or lovers? It's got to be one of the two. You ask a silly set-up question, get an honest answer and then dump your skum. Beautiful.

Posted by: petecard | December 5, 2010 8:53 PM | Report abuse

Again Petecard, none of your last post was necessary. Just say...."I contribute nothing."

Posted by: fushezzi | December 6, 2010 8:05 AM | Report abuse

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