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Posted at 2:39 PM ET, 03/ 4/2011

Randy Edsall 'a little bit shocked' about football team's academic standing

By Steve Yanda

Maryland football coach Randy Edsall said Friday that two players -- freshmen Devin Burns and Jeremiah Wilson -- have switched positions heading into spring practice, which will begin later this month. The moves were made in part because the coaching staff felt the players have the skills to be successful at their new positions, but they also were necessitated by depth issues brought on by academic uncertainty.

Burns has switched from quarterback to wide receiver, while Wilson has moved from defensive back to running back.

"One of the things that we have to get corrected this spring is I didn’t inherit a very good situation here in terms of the academics, in terms of where the players were and some of the issues that we have to deal with in terms of people having to do things this semester to make sure they’re eligible," Edsall said. "And that was one of the situations that I had at running back, because we do have some people there that aren’t where I want them to be from an academic standpoint.

"I was a little bit shocked about what I saw here from an academic standpoint."

Two of the four players ruled academically ineligible to play in the Military Bowl in December were wide receivers (juniors Quinton McCree and Ronnie Tyler). Edsall said no player has been ruled out of spring practice, noting that the players in danger of academic punishment still have a few weeks to accomplish what they need to in order to get on the right track in the classroom.

Burns was one of five quarterbacks on Maryland's roster, and he would have faced a logjam at that position behind starter Danny O'Brien. He joins a wide receiving corps that is looking to replace Torrey Smith, Adrian Cannon and LaQuan Williams.

Wilson joins a group of running backs that lost Da'Rel Scott but brings back Davin Meggett and D.J. Adams.

By Steve Yanda  | March 4, 2011; 2:39 PM ET
Categories:  Football, Ralph Friedgen, Randy Edsall  
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Next: Maryland bounced by Georgia Tech in ACC women's basketball tournament

Comments

Edsall,
Just make sure the Terps don't show up in an expose like this week's SI.

It's time for the Post to investigate the Teflon Coach in Blacksburg and his unchecked 20-year Thugocracy.

Posted by: MerlinTerps | March 4, 2011 3:22 PM | Report abuse

Re-post (this is more fitting for a football blog item)...last night I went to a dinner with Edsall along with some other Terps Insider regulars. It was set up by the alumni association for our fraternity. I was impressed with some of the things he said, he talked frankly on a number of issues and said a lot of interesting things...But the most interesting comment of the evening came not from him but from a fellow alumni of our fraternity who sat on the board of the Eagle Bank bowl (before it was the Military Bowl).

We asked Edsall about getting into a similar situation that we were in this year with ending up in the Military bowl even though we were deserving of a better destination and what can be done to avoid this in the future. I followed up by mentioning to him that there is a perception that the "fix" was in from the get go, that we were going to the Military Bowl no matter what unless we went to the ACC title game (and thus could land in no worse than the 4th bowl slot for ACC teams). Remember, Prisbell knew for certain, absolute certainty, that we were going to the Military bowl...well before the regular season was even over. How did he know?

Turns out when Maryland was up for the Eagle Bank bowl a few years back (2007/08), the previous MD administration (Debbie Yow and co.) made a commitment to the bowl committee that the next time we were a possibility for the Military/Eagle Bank bowl, we promised them we would accept their invitation. It would make sense financially for Maryland to do so.

So....the fix was in from the very beginning folks. That's why Prisbell was so certain in his bowl prediction. That's why Kevin Anderson did absolutely nothing to try to lobby for the Champ Sports Bowl. And in my opinion, after knowing what we now know, I believe Friedgen's efforts to lobby for a better bowl destination really ticked off Anderson.

Just one more reason to hate Kevin Anderson.

Posted by: Barno1 | March 4, 2011 4:51 PM | Report abuse

Hi barno,

Yes, we all sure know about your hatred of Kevin Anderson, in view of your frequent comments. It would be truly wonderful if you could find a way to cool out on that. I am pulling for you to control that emotion, and best of luck to you in doing so.

Posted by: EdDC | March 4, 2011 5:06 PM | Report abuse

Oh please. EVERYONE hates Kevin Anderson, except maybe you Ed. I'm guessing you're black...am I correct?

Posted by: this_guy | March 4, 2011 9:18 PM | Report abuse

Why would Kevin Anderson be emotional about a "committment" made before he got here? He probably could not have cared less.

Posted by: hoos3014 | March 4, 2011 11:43 PM | Report abuse

I hate Kevin Anderson as well and I have NO PROBLEM with Barno bringing it up!!!

Keep fighting the good fight!!! Testudo appreciates it!!! We will eventually rid ourselves of this awful athletic dictator errr.... director.

Posted by: MarylandNeedsToDitchTheAllCarolinaConference | March 5, 2011 9:20 AM | Report abuse

Since its obvious that Maryland's basketball team is going nowhere this year it pointless for Yanda or Prisbell to have an expose on academics written the day before the tournament?

It seems that Maryland is the only school the Post covers that has academic eligibility issues?

Some years ago there was a scandal about VT football players living in new public housing apartments in Blacksburg designed for people on welfare. It was on 60 minutes! Apparently this was going on for a long time and was one of the reasons athletes liked the school.

The players qualified because reported income was below poverty level. They used their housing allowance for god knows what? The loophole apparently got fixed only after it was on national tv?

I never saw one word about it in the Post?

Posted by: fatlabriley2 | March 5, 2011 10:06 AM | Report abuse

Just add this to the end of my rant under ‘Talkin’ Terps: Lack of Senior Leadership’. It’s amazing how nobody but Maryland’s athletes have academic issues. Reporters from other schools read these articles and post them for their fans to read creating negative publicity for the school. Perhaps good recruits don’t want to come to Maryland because of the perception articles such as these create.

Posted by: TerpAlum | March 5, 2011 10:39 AM | Report abuse

So now we need a report on what Edsall's record for academics is. I imagine that academics is an ongoing problem at most schools.

Posted by: bobilly2 | March 5, 2011 11:03 AM | Report abuse

Barno, jpf, fushezzi and other sigma chis,

Please provide any other highlights from your dinner with RE. Who else was there from the FB coaching staff? From the AD? Any players?

Regards -

- hgr

Posted by: HughGRection | March 5, 2011 12:35 PM | Report abuse

Way to throw Ralph under the bus Randy, making it sound like he left you a mess.You just dropped a few notches in my book.

You will see soon enough, the academics at Maryland are no joke and will always have players straddling eligibility because of it. No matter who the coach is.

Posted by: soriphius | March 5, 2011 1:47 PM | Report abuse

Oh please. EVERYONE hates Kevin Anderson, except maybe you Ed. I'm guessing you're black...am I correct?

Posted by: this_guy | March 4, 2011 9:18 PM
_________________________________________________________

If Ed is black, what the hell does that have to do with it?
I don't hate Kevin Anderson, and I'm white.

Jeez. Lighten up, Francis.

Posted by: Section505203 | March 5, 2011 2:08 PM | Report abuse

So now we need a report on what Edsall's record for academics is. I imagine that academics is an ongoing problem at most schools. Posted by: bobilly2 | March 5, 2011 11:03 AM

bobilly2,

There was a report on this blog maybe a month ago that indicated that, according to some study that I can't remember, Edsall achieved the highest rate of graduation rate of minorities of any BCS bowl team. It does show that Edsall cares about graduation rates, for all his players I am sure (and not just for certain races or ethnicities). As I understand it, the report itself focused on minorities' graduation rates, not Edsall.

Posted by: EdDC | March 5, 2011 3:10 PM | Report abuse

Kevin Anderson is an incompetent Athletic Director. He was at best average at his previous post.

Maryland hired him to fill the minority card. And, it's a shame that the University plays these stupid political games.

We had a better choice with the UConn AD coming over. And, he had Maryland roots!

Posted by: mi6-007 | March 5, 2011 5:17 PM | Report abuse

So let me get this straight: you can have all-white ADs for the entire history of the U of Md., but if you hire one minority, what you are doing is filling the minority card.

And if you hire all whites as head football coaches in the entire history of the University, that is just normal or race-neutral. Is that it? Does racial neutrality or color-blindness mean that you only hire whites in your entire history as an institution?

And if your one minority AD in the history of the University of Md doesn't encourage the minority head-coach-in-waiting to stay here at the U of Md., and instead hires yet another white guy, is that reflective of some bias going on around here in favor of minorities?

It's funny, one guy says how much he "hates" Kevin Anderson and then a bunch of posters feel free to jump in and start a racial discussion! Just glance up at several of these posts.

Posted by: EdDC | March 5, 2011 6:21 PM | Report abuse

Randy IS and always has been a stickler for academics. You can walk up to him after practice and he'd be able to tell you the G.P.A. for every player on his team.

If this throws the Fridge under the bus...so be it. That's not what Edsall is trying to do, but MAN that would be a hellova speed bump!

Posted by: caphcky | March 5, 2011 6:22 PM | Report abuse

So now we need a report on what Edsall's record for academics is. I imagine that academics is an ongoing problem at most schools. Posted by: bobilly2 | March 5, 2011 11:03 AM

bobilly2,

There was a report on this blog maybe a month ago that indicated that, according to some study that I can't remember, Edsall achieved the highest rate of graduation rate of minorities of any BCS bowl team. It does show that Edsall cares about graduation rates, for all his players I am sure (and not just for certain races or ethnicities). As I understand it, the report itself focused on minorities' graduation rates, not Edsall.

Posted by: EdDC | March 5, 2011 3:10 PM | Report abuse

I did a google search and don't find any hard evidence on comparative graduation rates. It is said that he had 1 year of 90 % rate and that went down to 70% one year with a bowl game. What I would like to see is a comparison betwee Fridgien and Edsall.

Posted by: bobilly2 | March 5, 2011 11:51 PM | Report abuse

Ed,

I'm with you Big Fella, and this is where I differ from Barno. Anyone who thinks that there's not an "ole boy" network in major college and professional sports, then they're blind or have their head buried in the sand.

Why is it that the NFL had to inact the "Rooney rule" so, that blacks can at least get an interview. Pathetic.

Kevin Anderson was a qualified candidate and was hired, but now he' an "affirmative action hire". Complete BS. He paid his dues and got hired. Live with it. Do I like they way he handled the Fridge situation? No. But, he made a decision and stuck by it. I respect that, and as Maryland fans we should be behind him.

And this is coming from a white conservative Republican.

I'm not sayin', I'm just sayin'.

Posted by: Section505203 | March 6, 2011 12:13 AM | Report abuse

America, we still have a long way to go with race....

Posted by: bssd | March 6, 2011 5:16 AM | Report abuse

America, we still have a long way to go with race.... We can have a black president, AD or whatever but as soon as he does something we dont like whites line up on 1 side and blacks on the other. Very SAD but it will be better with the next generation.....

Posted by: bssd | March 6, 2011 5:20 AM | Report abuse

Why play the race card with Anderson? His performance so far has varied between embarrassing and absurd, what does skin color have to do with it? And how is it different than the Yow administration where she publicly undermined staff and wasted resources? Maryland's athletic department has always been the laughingstock of the ACC. Of course, a lot of these athletic admin types aren't qualified to run a lemonade stand, so Maryland's hardly unique.

Posted by: dmor | March 6, 2011 11:19 AM | Report abuse

Maybe "hate" is not the right word, especially when this turns into such a heated race debate.

I strongly DISLIKE Kevin Anderson. He comes across as a very pompous, arrogant and incompetent AD. Not to mention he's a poor public speaker. He completely BOTCHED the Fridge firing. He couldn't get us into a good bowl game. He botched bringing Leach on board. He's telling our fans to "be polite" during the Duke games. He wonders why we can't draw people to Byrd Stadium after a 2-10 season with ridiculous ticket prices, TERRIBLE concessions and two pro franchises within thirty miles of the stadium. He's not a Terp and he never will be.

His resume' lacks any credibility as an Athletic Director. Selling copiers is a job for a kid right out of college... It should not translate into a major position in the athletic department of a major sports program. Additionally, he's hiring a "Chief of Staff" that makes many alumni & fans wonder what in the hell this guy does with his free time. He's not a senator for Christ's sake, he's an AD. He doesn't need a "Chief of Staff" and it sickens me that my tax dollars are going to pay for it. CD Mote was the president of the school yet he found time to teach a freakin' business course!!!

Posted by: MarylandNeedsToDitchTheAllCarolinaConference | March 6, 2011 2:28 PM | Report abuse

Your emotinal rants have little connection to reality. If you had ever taken the time to read Kevin Anderson's bio you'd know he worked his way up through the Athletic Departments at Cal Berkely and Oregon State before taking the job at Army where he gained national recognition for turning the program around, especially after he negotiated an astounding 55-million dollar deal for the Army-Navy annual telecasts with CBS.

It seems strange thaat you're expending so much energy abusing a guy who happens to be held in high regard by his peers.

Posted by: leezc3 | March 6, 2011 3:46 PM | Report abuse

Lot of comments about race and Kevin Anderson on this thread. Just goes to show I am far from the only one who believes, as Debbie Yow once publicly stated, that affirmative hiring is part of the very fabric at UMD.

Nothing would make me happier than knowing that Kevin Anderson got his job at UMD based on his qualifications and not because of his skin color. Unfortunately, I live in the real world.

One of my favorite commenters on this site, section505203, stated that there is still a good ole boy network in college and professional sports. I don't think anything could be further from the truth. Of course there is still racism in our society--there always will be. But I don't think there is any widespread systematic discrimination against minority candidates in college and pro athletics and I believe assertions to the contrary are simply baseless. As I have always said, the reason there are so few black coaches, athletic directors, and other top coaching positions is because of the dearth of black candidates for these positions--not because the college administrators who do the hiring are all racists.

The most important factor that the pro-Rooney Rule folks always overlook is that you need a college degree to get into coaching, and the number of black men with college degrees is relatively tiny. THAT is the problem, and that is what we need to work on improving, rather than giving an artificial boost at the hiring level to black candidates simply because of their skin color.

I want to make this very clear before I get accused of being a racist yet again on this blog: Nothing would make me happier than more minorities in top positions like head coach and AD. We just disagree with how to go about accomplishing this.

Posted by: Barno1 | March 6, 2011 3:51 PM | Report abuse

Barno,

Good Post. I respect your opinion and while I don't agree with everything you said, I think you have some solid points. I especially agree with your point about fixing the problem in regards to "the number of black men with college degrees [being] relatively tiny." I don't know exactly how to fix this problem but, it needs to be addressed some how.

And no, I personally don't think you a racist. The R word is thrown around way to liberally in today's society.

Posted by: Section505203 | March 6, 2011 4:38 PM | Report abuse

barno,

Lighten up and enlighten up.

How many times have you slung the racial insult of calling Anderson (and Franklin before him) an affirmative action hire? It creeps into most of your posts.

Why is it a racial insult? Because the clear implication is that Anderson would not have been hired if not for his race. An institution can go for many, many decades and have only one race in its top positions, but let one minority into a top job and it is "affirmative action." Not merit. Not the winner of a search committee composed of Terp favorites such as Gary and Brenda Frese. But race. It is always race with you, barno.

A poster above wanted the UConn AD, despite the NCAA investigation and penalties. Maybe Hathaway's age was a consideration in starting a rebuilding job? Others say Anderson botched the Leach hiring. Well, if so, then so did every other university that has passed him over. In Edsall, Anderson went for character, a recent BSC bowl appearance, and a system favorable to retaining Danny O'Brien. You can disagree with that, but it is decidedly not racial. Anderson should have retained Fridge--OK, a valid area of disagreement. Do you sign him for 5 years? Do you give him the lame duck year and start to re-build the Terp FB program at some later point? Both are possible decisions, but there is nothing racial going on here, no matter how much you disagree. And it is also valid to disagree with the other universities that should have been going after Fridge to be their long-term head coach. But they are not acting racially either. It is wild to keep putting the race tag onto Anderson for everything that happens.

And you can stop quoting Debbie Yow. She did not hire Anderson. Maybe she was proud to be part of a public institution that is trying to achieve some diversity, a statement that deeply offends conservatives (probably as much as "affirmative action hire" offends others). But she is gone. The search committee came out with Anderson. It was not Debbie's judgment, and now he is a Terp. No one associated with the U of Md has called Anderson an affirmative action hire except barno and his like-minded posters.

As far as slinging the R word around, I have not seen that applied to barno, and I read these posts regularly. He's called me the R word (racist) as I clearly recall. Why was I called that? Because I admitted that I like diversity, since a public institution should recognize the talents of all citizens. To be fair to barno, however, he mostly just calls me stupid and ignorant.

Posted by: EdDC | March 7, 2011 9:22 AM | Report abuse

If your not proud of how diverse UMD is then trade in your diploma for a Boston College diploma and get a life. I don't know when was the last time some of you clowns step foot on campus for an event (non-athletic). Many of you probably know this, but just in case you forgot where WE come from. Maryland was the 1st acc school to have a black football player, we were the acc 1st school to have a woman ad and now we are the 1st school to have a black ad. Many publications constantly praise Maryland for how diverse it is & many non-white students graduate from College Park. Sorry but being a trailblazer is what we do in College Park! Embrace it don't sit in your cubicle and hate it!

My senior year (03') I sat on a panel about race with the BSU, LSU, Hillel the AASU and other student orgs. We talked about race/culture and how students identify themselves. Below is a link to an article from the NY Times about diversity at college (UMD to be exact). I feel that this article is a snap shot into the future not only of this school but this country, yea I am a little extreme about the eventual homogenization of America but until things like interracial dating ends (me & my finance for example), and immigrants stop Coming to America (what is this Velvet! had to lol) I will defend my theory. If this group of students, along with the latest census report, is a indication of what the future of America is going to be in 100 years or so WE wont need affirmative action anymore. One day we may see signs that say "White men encouraged to apply" probably not in my lifetime or yours but then again I thought I would be 80 before I saw a black man in the white house.

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/01/30/us/30mixed.html?ref=us (just in case the link is blocked you can google "Black? White? Asian? More Young Americans Choose All of the Above"). Fear the Turtle!

Posted by: dasilva_ryan | March 7, 2011 12:34 PM | Report abuse

Ed, you have lost it. First off, if you seriously think the search committee "hired" Anderson, you have a lot of growing up to do. That's just plain moronic to suggest. Just because Gary williams was on the search committee does not in any way mean Kevin Anderson was Gary's first choice, so trying to imply otherwise just shows your lack of credibility on this issue.

"An institution can go for many, many decades and have only one race in its top positions, but let one minority into a top job and it is "affirmative action." Not merit."

More ignorance. Your insinuation is clear: that because institutions have discriminated in the past, it's okay to discriminate the other way now. Only one problem with that way of thinking: the Supreme Court has ruled over 30 years ago that "past discrimination" is not a justification for current discrimination ...so that's a non-starter.

And as for your claim that I called you a racist simply because you admitted that you like diversity, that is a flat out lie and you know it.

As we both know, I called you a bigot when you said you'd prefer a black person to be our next head football coach. That comment was bigoted, ignorant, and insulting.

The comment is right here: http://voices.washingtonpost.com/terrapins-insider/2010/11/friedgen_tells_prospects_he_pl.html

Posted by: Barno1 | March 7, 2011 12:41 PM | Report abuse

Barno,

I went back and looked at your insults and racial rants. Which words of mine were most offensive to you?

It reminds me that there will always be people who think hiring a minority means discriminating against whites. There is nothing I can do about that.

Bottom line: Anderson was highly qualified and he was recommended by the search committee. If he were not the recommended choice of the search committee, then word would have leaked out for sure that the University overturned the recommendation of the search committee. The Post's reporters are too good for that to have slipped by.

Yes, I am glad to see the University's top jobs opened up to people of all races, and yes I am glad that Anderson is here. Number 1, he is the best choice of the other candidates I heard discussed. And secondly, yes, I like a diverse talent pool within the University's decision-making apparatus. In my view, diversity helps make for improved institutional performance--but that's just me. Does that make me a bigot? If so, then I'll gladly take that.

Anyway, race had nothing to do with Anderson's selection or his subsequent decisions on the job. He won the job because he was the best among those who applied. It is the start of what is hopefully a new era of racial and gender equality among the best qualified. I love it as much as you don't.

I'm outa here on this discussion, so call me whatever names you want. I will not respond.

Posted by: EdDC | March 7, 2011 1:05 PM | Report abuse

Barno,

Just a quick amendment to my final comment. Your quoted me as saying the search committee "hired" Anderson. I never used that word. I know how search committees work.

Posted by: EdDC | March 7, 2011 1:16 PM | Report abuse

"Anyway, race had nothing to do with Anderson's selection or his subsequent decisions on the job. He won the job because he was the best among those who applied." -EdDC

Keep living in your fantasy land. Ignorance truly is bliss.

dasilva_ryan, interesting post. I agree with much of what you said. We are indeed becoming a more multi-racial society, which furthers my argument. What constitutes being black? Hispanic? Having 1 parent who is black? 1 grandparent? See my point: race is an arbitrary concept.

It's just another reason why colleges and universities need to stop treating people differently based on what their skin color is. I am not disadvantaged, but because I have a mother who is Hispanic, the university of Maryland automatically assumed I was disadvantaged. They didn't even read my high school essay when they evaluated my application to the school. I know this for a fact. They saw that I was Hispanic and automatically tried to put me in a program for disadvantaged students. Had they read my essay, it would have been obvious that I was not economically disadvantaged. But they saw a Hispanic middle name and that was it: they immediately placed me in a program for the disadvantaged (which I got out of before classes started).

It's the same patronizing type of people that saw my brother's Hispanic name and placed him in a bilingual education class, even though he didn't speak a word of Spanish. To these misguided administrators, you ARE disadvantaged if you are minority or part-minority. That's the problem with affirmative action and other race-based policies, they assume that if you are a minority, you must be disadvantaged and if you are white or Asian, you must be rich.

Anyhow, you're initial point about being proud of how diverse UMD is is irrelevant. We are all proud of how diverse the school is, we just disagree about how to go about achieving diversity.

Posted by: Barno1 | March 7, 2011 1:37 PM | Report abuse

*Anyhow, YOUR initial point about being proud of how diverse UMD is is irrelevant.

Posted by: Barno1 | March 7, 2011 1:47 PM | Report abuse

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