Posted on: July 2, 2011 1:03 pm
Edited on: July 2, 2011 2:11 pm
Posted by Tom Fornelli
Another huge college football scandal has broken! Okay, not really.
Back in May, Maryland self-reported some minor violations the school had committed with practice times during the 2010 season under Ralph Friedgen. The school exceeded practice time limits and allowed graduate assistants and interns to monitor summer workout sessions, which is against NCAA rules.
The school proposed to the NCAA -- and the NCAA agreed -- that it dock 2.5 hours of practice from the schedule every week, cutting the school down from the maximum of 20 hours a week to 17.5 hours. The school also said that it will not allow interns to monitor any practices in August, and that graduate assistants will not be allowed to attend any of the school's first 16 practices.
Maryland self-reported the violations when the school determined that a couple of mandatory practice sessions were reported incorrectly as voluntary practices.
"Specifically, 30 minutes of meeting sessions and 30 minutes of practice on Mondays and one hour of weightlifting on Wednesdays were not accurately reported," Maryland said in its letter to NCAA director of enforcement for secondary violations Chris Strobel in May. "During the review it was apparent that the coaches and staff at the time believed those activities were voluntary in nature; however, when reviewed in detail, the institution determined the activities to be mandatory."
Now, obviously, this isn't that big of a deal compared to the other NCAA violations we've all grown accustomed to hearing about this offseason, but it could have a big impact on the Maryland program. After all, Randy Edsall is entering his first season at the school, and every hour of practice will be important to him and his staff to learn about his new players and institute new schemes. Throw in the fact that Maryland opens its season against Miami and not some FCS cupcake, and every hour of practice this August becomes even more important.
Posted on: June 24, 2011 12:51 pm
Edited on: June 24, 2011 7:45 pm
Posted by Tom Fornelli
Posted on: May 26, 2011 2:04 pm
Edited on: June 13, 2011 9:57 am
By the Eye on College Football bloggers
To celebrate the 100 99 days remaining until the first Saturday of the new college football season, this is the CBSSports.com College Football 100: our countdown of the 2011 season's 100 most influential players, coaches, administrators, venues, or any other related things in college football. It's like that other "most influential" list, but, you know, more important. Also: it's supposed to be fun. Enjoy.
90. T.Y. HILTON, receiver/returner, FIU. Every so often, a player rises up from the lower rungs of college football to make a credible run at the Heisman Trophy: Garrett Wolfe at Northern Illinois, Steve McNair at Alcorn State, Gordie Lockbaum once upon a time at Holy Cross. And if that's happening this year, the smartest bet is on Hilton, the reigning Sun Belt Player of the Year and leader in all-purpose yardage.
But if Hilton does make a splash nationally, it won't be for his accolades, statistics, or even team success (though Hilton led his Golden Panthers to their first bowl berth and conference title last season, and could repeat the feat). It'll be for his electric playmaking, on full display in last year's Little Caesar's Bowl, when his 89-yard kickoff return for touchdown and 4th-and-17 conversion keyed a thrilling Panther comeback. Put a few more of those types of plays on SportsCenter (particularly in an early-season Friday night visit to Louisville), and the sky -- or more specifically, New York -- might be the limit. -- JH
89. LOGAN THOMAS, quarterback, Virginia Tech. Since joining the ACC in 2004, the Hokies have won four conference championships and four Coastal Division titles. The league's expansion might have expected to highlight Florida State and Miami, but it has been the Hokies who have most often represented the conference on the national stage. But for the last four years of that run, the Hokies were had ACC Player of the Year Tyrod Taylor. Now Taylor is gone, and it's Thomas who's set to take his place.
The redshirt sophomore has already impressed coaches and teammates with his performance in spring practice, and the hopes are high for his first season as the Hokies starter. Standing at 6-foot-6, Thomas often looked like the big brother as Taylor tutored him throughout last season. With quarterbacks coach Mike O'Cain now assuming the play-calling duties, the offense will run through Thomas. Tech has many of the pieces in place to defend their ACC championship, but they'll need Thomas to settle in quickly to get it done. -- CP
88. AT&T PARK, temporary home stadium, Cal. For the first time since 1923, the California Golden Bears will play their home games somewhere other than California Memorial Stadium. As the university enters the final stages of their $321 million retrofit and renovation project, the Bears will play their home games at AT&T Park in San Francisco - home of the Giants. The setup for football won't be entirely foreign for the venue -- it's the home of the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl -- but it will be an inconvenient trip for players, students and fans so used to their home games in Berkeley.
With four critical, winnable home games on their Pac-12 slate (highlighted by visits from USC and Utah), how well the Bears adapt to their new surroundings could well determine the trajectory of Jeff Tedford's Bears tenure. After four seasons with no fewer than four losses and no league finish higher than fourth, Tedford needs a big year to avoid a make-or-break 2012 season, and given the Bears' rigorous road schedule (at Oregon, at Stanford) that simply won't happen if Cal spits the bit at AT&T Park. The stadium could be Tedford's sanctuary; it could prove to be his house of horrors. -- CP
87. VICTOR ANDERSON, running back, Louisville. In 2008, Anderson rushed for 1,047 yards and 8 touchdowns, numbers good enough for him to be named the Big East Rookie of the Year. But nagging injuries over the last two seasons have prevented Anderson from recapturing that freshman form. Now, for the first time since that promising campaign, Anderson is 100 percent healthy.
Just in time, too, for Charlie Strong's second season as Cardinal head coach. With very little chance to prove himself in 2010, some believed that sophomore Jeremy Wright might replace the dominant Bilal Powell as the 'Ville's starting running back. But after one of his best springs since stepping on campus, Anderson has reclaimed the greater share of snaps in the Cardinals' backfield. There will be a lot of pressure for Strong to repeat the success of 2010, and he's already shown his affection for the rushing game. If the Cardinals are going back to the postseason again, they'll need 2008's Anderson (or better) in 2011. -- CP
86. CASE KEENUM'S KNEE, body part, Houston quarterback. The coronation of college football's newest passing king looked to be in serious jeopardy last fall when Keenum, a senior, suffered a season-ending ACL tear during an ill-advised attempt at a tackle against UCLA. Keenum had been on pace to set NCAA records in career yards and touchdowns before the injury, but there's no progress to be made there on the sidelines.
Fortunately for Keenum, he was granted a sixth year of eligibility this January, meaning not only does he have another shot at setting those NCAA records, but he's 636 yards and three touchdowns closer. At this point, the biggest obstancle in Keenum's way is his own health. His rehab's on track so far, and he's going to be doing 7-on-7 drills with his receivers to get that all-important timing down, but how is he going to respond physically and mentally to this setback? Can he still set those records? Will his knee allow him to? -- AJ
85. LSU AT ALABAMA, potential Game of the Year, SEC. In a division where as many as four or five teams can have realistic dreams of a top-10 season and a trip to Atlanta, there's no shortage of "Game of the Year" candidates. Pair off any one of Alabama, Arkansas, LSU, Auburn and Mississippi State -- a group featuring three of the last four national champions, a fourth team coming off a Sugar Bowl berth, and a fifth coached by a man with two national title rings himself -- and you're going to get not only a potential classic, but the game that could decide the outcome of the nation's hands-down strongest division.
But even taking into account the South Carolina-Georgia-Florida round-robin in the East, the single game most likely to produce the SEC's 2011 champion will be played between the Tide and Tigers on Nov. 5. Both teams will bring wicked defenses, explosive athletes, powerful running games (at least, if we're right about Spencer Ware) ... and potentially shaky quarterback situations that could derail either team's title dreams. It all collides head-on in Tuscaloosa, and whatever the result, the SEC season won't be remotely the same in its aftermath. -- JH
Coker -- who probably would have redshirted were it not for a slew of injuries in front of him on the depth chart -- is now the unquestioned workhorse in the Iowa backfield after the departures of every other tailback with even one down of experience. He's clearly got the physical gifts to make it work (and a talented, veteran line in front of him), but will Coker's bruising style of play hold up through an entire season in the Big Ten? --AJ
83. DANNY O'BRIEN, quarterback, Maryland. When 2010's ACC Rookie of the Year takes the field for his sophomore campaign this fall, in some ways it will feel as new as last September when the Kernersville, NC native took the conference by storm. After leading the Terrapins within a game of an Atlantic Division title, head coach Ralph Friedgen was fired, and offensive coordinator James Franklin took the head coaching job at Vanderbilt. O'Brien's favorite receiver, junior Torrey Smith, took his 1,055 yards receiving and 12 touchdowns to the NFL.
Now O'Brien returns with expectations to repeat last year's success in College Park. But this go-round he has a new head coach (Randy Edsall) and new offensive coordinator (Gary Crowton). Luckily, neither coach is lacking in experience, and there should be plenty of learning opportunities for the sophomore gunslinger. Now O'Brien must seize control of those opportunities to keep Maryland --as Terps fans expect -- in the Atlantic Division hunt. -- CP
82. DECLAN SULLIVAN, late student videographer, Notre Dame. Though Notre Dame's 2010 campaign finished on a high note on the field, the season had already been irreparably marred by the tragic October death of Declan Sullivan. Sullivan lost his life when the scissor lift he was on while filming an Irish practice toppled over in high winds. (At right, that's a picture of Oregon's D.J. Davis wearing Sullivan's photo on his handwarmer as a tribute.) Notre Dame was fined for the accident and has since taken steps to make sure it never happens again, filming practice by placing cameras at different angles around the field rather than putting students on top of lifts.
It's a practice that a lot of schools would be smart to adapt, and it's one example of how Sullivan's legacy -- we desperately hope -- impacts the 2011 season and beyond. Whether it's discontinuing the use of lifts, using better equipment to reduce the risk of injury, closer supervision of player workouts, even more regular medical check-ups for stressed-out coaches, college football must do a better job of ensuring the safety of those involved with it. The lesson from the Sullivan tragedy is that those in charge must be proactive in making the necessary changes; even if the number of deaths from lift incidents stops, forever, at one, that one is still far, far too many. -- TF
81. WILL LYLES, scouting service director, Houston, Texas. The man who runs Complete Scouting Services has become the face of one of the NCAA's latest, biggest targets: scouting services. These alleged "street agents" associated with different scouting services came under fire earlier this spring when it was revealed that Oregon paid Lyles $24,000 for his services before signing coveted recruit Lache Seatrunk. Since then, the public has slowly learned more and more about the scouting service industry.
What they have learned is that Oregon is not the only school that uses them. In fact, many schools pay scouting services for DVD's, measurements, and other information that may help in recruiting. But the dollar amounts in some cases do not exactly fall in line with "standard prices." Lyles is currently being investigated by the NCAA for his ties to Seastrunk, LaMichael James (also at Oregon), and Patrick Peterson (formerly of LSU). If the NCAA decides that Lyles helped lead them to their respective schools, he would become a booster and thus a walking violation of NCAA rules. If (or when) the NCAA crackdown on scouting services takes its next step, it will be because of the spotlight on Lyles. -- CP
Tags: ACC, Alabama, Alcorn State, Arkansas, AT&T Park, Auburn, Big East, Big Ten, Bilal Powell, Cal, California Memorial Stadium, Case Keenum, Case Keenum's knee, CBSSports.com College Football 100, Charlie Strong, Complete Scouting Services, Danny O'Brien, DeClaen Sullivan, FIU, Florida, Florida State, Garrett Wolfe, Gary Crowton, Georgia, Gordie Lockbaum, Holy Cross, Insight Bowl, James Franklin, Jarrell Harrison, Jeff Tedford, Jeremy Wright, Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl, Lache Seastrunk, LaMichael James, Little Caesar's Bowl, Logan Thomas, Louisville, LSU, LSU, Marcus Coker, Maryland, Miami, Mike O'Cain, Mississippi State, Missouri, NCAA, Northern Illinois, Notre Dame, Oregon, Pac-12, Patrick Peterson, Ralph Friedgen, Randy Edsall, SEC, South Carolina, Spencer Ware, Stanford, Steve McNair, Sun Belt, T.Y. Hilton, Torrey Smith, Tyrod Taylor, UCLA, USC, Utah, Victor Anderson, Virginia Tech, Will Lyles
Posted on: April 12, 2011 11:40 am
Edited on: April 12, 2011 11:52 am
Posted by Chip Patterson
Coming into the 2010 season, the expectations were pretty low for Maryland football. They were fresh off a 2-10 season, and the touchdown-less second half in the 17-14 season-opener against Navy did not ease any concerns. But when quarterback Jamarr Robinson injured his arm and began missing snaps due to soreness, redshirt freshman quarterback Danny O'Brien took control.
O'Brien took the keys to the offense helped lead the Terps for a 6-win turnaround to 8-4, one of the best turnarounds in program history. O'Brien threw for 2,438 yards and 22 touchdowns, and was named the ACC Rookie of the Year.
But a new head coach (Randy Edsall ) and new offensive coordintaor (Gary Crowton ), O'Brien's hold on on the starting job might not be as tight as many expected. Edsall made a point on Monday to compliment the play of sophomore quarterback C.J. Brown .
“C.J. Brown is putting pressure on Danny,” Edsall said today in a conference call with reporters . “I like the things that he’s doing. C.J. is a guy that does a good job in the huddle and can make plays.”
Brown was considered one of the candidates for Robinson's starting job until his season was ended by a broken collarbone against Morgan State in the second game of the season. The dual-threat quarterback only has one passing attempt and one rushing attempt in his brief collegiate career, but he has been making a statement so far in spring practice. As far as Edsall is concerned, the compeitition will only lead to good things for Maryland.
“Everybody always needs somebody pushing them, somebody behind them,” Edsall said . “I think the competition is great for everybody. You can never drink the Kool-Aid. I’m not saying anyone is, but I’m saying every day you have to go out there and prove yourself and be the best you can be. That’s all we want these guys to do.”
RELATED : Maryland may have their options open at the quarterback position, but they are already having to shuffle the depth chart due to injury. Edsall also told reporters that starting left tackle Justin Gilbert re-injured his left knee and underwent surgery on Thursday . It is the same knee that ended Gilbert's season Sept. 18 at West Virginia a year ago. Sophomore Max Garcia is expected to take over the starting spot.
Posted on: April 4, 2011 5:02 pm
Edited on: April 4, 2011 5:05 pm
Posted by Chip Patterson
College Football has no offseason. Every coach knows that the preparation for September begins now, in Spring Practice . So we here at the Eye on College Football will get you ready as teams open spring ball with our Spring Practice Primers . Today, we look at Maryland , who started spring practice on Tuesday.
Maryland fell just short of a division crown in 2010, can Randy Edsall and the new coaching staff take the Terps over the top?
2010 was a season of historic turnaround for the Maryland football program. Just a year after going 2-10, the Terps finished the year 8-4 with a Top 25 ranking in the final polls. It was one of the biggest win-differentials in program, and head coach Ralph Friedgen was named the ACC Coach of the Year -- for the second time in his career.
But Friedgen was not the only one to collect hardware for Maryland in 2010. Redshirt freshman quarterback Danny O'Brien took the conference by storm, throwing for 2,438 yards and 22 touchdowns on his way to earning ACC Rookie of the Year honors. O'Brien started the season as the backup quarterback, but took control of the position while replacing injured quarterback Jamarr Robinson (shoulder). He ranked third nationally among freshman in passing efficiency (135.2) and his 8 interceptions was second fewest in the ACC for quarterbacks with at least 10 touchdowns.
But even with an 8-4 finish, Military Bowl victory, and two end of the season ACC award winners, athletic director Kevin Anderson felt there needed to be a change for Maryland football. Before the bowl game, Anderson announced that Maryland would buy out Friedgen's final year of his contract (2011) and begin searching for a new head coach. Many Maryland fans criticized the timing of Friedgen's dismissal, but it hardly compared to the sting Maryland delivered to Connecticut.
Randy Edsall had just finished coaching the Connecticut Huskies against Oklahoma in the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl. Despite the embarrassing loss, the BCS berth marked a peak in Connecticut's decade-long climb into the the top ranks of college football. When Edsall was named head coach in 1999 the Huskies were not even a Division I program, in 2010 they were Big East champions. Which is why it crushed Connecticut fans to hear that Edsall was accepting the open Maryland position the day after coaching the Huskies in the Fiesta Bowl.
So now Edsall begins another project in College Park. His new challenge from Kevin Anderson will be to guide the Terrapins "from good to great," and become an annual contender in the ACC. As the Terps have gotten spring practice underway, Edsall has instituted some new procedural regulations around the program.
When Anderson presented Edsall with his Maryland baseball cap at January's introductory press conference, the new head coach smiled for a few photos then quickly removed it from his head. Edsall believes in obeying his own team rules, and "no baseball caps" is one of them.
Almost immediately after he was hired, Edsall informed the team there would be no ball caps, do-rags, or earrings inside team facilities. If players do choose to grow facial hair, it is expected to be neatly kept and well-groomed. Players have already been spotted doing extra workouts as punishment for oversleeping or being late to team meetings.
"What we're trying to do is prepare these kids for life," Edsall said in a recent interview. "When you meet people for the first time, you make a lasting impression. We're trying to instill discipline and give them an advantage over other people when they leave college. I know what employers are looking for."
But the changes within the program at Maryland extend far beyond player conduct and appearance. Beginning this spring the 2011 Terps will not only be getting used to playing for Edsall, but also new coordinators on both sides of the ball. Offensive coordinator James Franklin left to take over as the head coach of Vanderbilt's team, and Maryland now welcomes Gary Crowton from LSU. Franklin was given a lot of credit for O'Brien's development and the offense's performance in 2010, now Crowton will be counted on to continue that development in 2011.
Luckily, Crowton welcomes back several pieces to compliment O'Brien. Perhaps most important will be returning four of the five starters from an offensive line that only allowed O'Brien to be sacked 12 times in conference play, good for 3rd in the ACC. With some questions at wide receiver, it will be even more important for the offense to win the battle at the line to give O'Brien enough time to get through his progression.
Additionally Maryland returns leading rusher Davin Meggett, who racked up 720 yards as part of a two-headed rushing attack with Da'Rel Scott. He'll be counted on to be the feature back early, though keep your eye on bruising tailback D.J. Adams. Adams led all rushers in 2010 with 11 touchdowns, padded significantly by a 4 touchdown performance in Maryland's 51-20 rout of East Carolina in the bowl game. With the offensive line and backfield mostly in place, the rushing game should serve as a strong foundation for O'Brien's second season under center.
But perhaps the biggest question mark offensively is the receiver position. There were times last season where it felt like Torrey Smith was the only receiver on the field. After 67 receptions, 1,055 yards, and 12 touchdowns in 2010, Smith is seizing the opportunity to take the one-man show to the NFL. Spring practice will be the time for Crowton to figure out who will take the place of the man responsible for nearly twice as many catches and three times as many yards as any other Maryland receiver last year. The spring depth chart lists Kevin Dorsey, Quintin McCree, and Ronnie Tyler as the top wide receivers, but some have pegged Florida transfer Adrian Coxson as a name to keep an eye on at the wideout position.
After suddenly losing their head coach, Connecticut got some kind of karmic consolation by hiring Maryland defensive coordinator Don Brown to the same position with the Huskies. Now, Edsall and new coordinator Todd Bradford (Southern Mississippi) must spend spring practice figuring out who will fill the holes in a yet-to-be-determined system. Bradford ran a 4-3 base defense last season with the Golden Eagles, but has said the Terps will use multiple formations and "move a lot" next season. Don Brown's multiple-look blitzing scheme highlighted the play of linebackers Alex Wujciak and Adrian Moten in 2010, and Maryland fans are hoping that Kenny Tate can be that playmaker in the fall. Tate recorded 100 tackles in his junior year at safety, and will be making the jump to linebacker this spring
. But in order to put themselves in a position to compete for an ACC Championship in 2011, they'll have to overcome a rapidly improving Atlantic Division. N.C. State is coming off their best season in years, and Clemson just reloaded with a new coaching staff and nationally ranked recruiting class. Not to mention Florida State, who has already been crowned as the team to beat in the conference for 2011. The Seminoles kept Maryland out of the ACC Championship game in 2010 with a 30-16 win in College Park. If the Terps want to move from "good to great" in 2011, the road will have to go through Tallahassee.
Click here for more Spring Practice Primers
Posted on: April 4, 2011 10:58 am
Edited on: April 4, 2011 11:07 am
Posted by Chip Patterson
As Maryland's new head football coach, Randy Edsall is trying to put in place new standards and practices that will mark his era as the face of the Terps' program. Unfortunately, he will still have to deal with some of the consequences from the old regime. Maryland's football program will lose three scholarships for the 2011-2012 season for failure to meet the NCAA standards on Academic Progress Rate (APR). Maryland's football APR score from 2009-2010 will be 922, three points below the 925 mark for avoiding penalties.
"We already have a system in place to deal with and rectify the situation," Edsall said in an official release. The APR was created by the NCAA to measure real-time academic progress over a four year span. The numbers are calculated annually, and Maryland's score will reflect the performance from 2006-2007 to 2009-2010.
"The APR gives us a four-year look at past performance, which unfortunately was not as good as we would have liked," said athletic director Kevin Anderson. "We do feel, though, that with changes in our staffs and processes, we will get a fresh perspective on how best to ensure we reach and surpass our goals academically in the future."
Edsall has already made headlines for his conduct and appearance changes to the football program. Gone are baseball caps, do-rags, and earrings from the Gossett Football Team House. Players may have facial hair, but only if it is neatly trimmed. It is all part of a stricter approach that includes a strong focus on academics.
Posted on: March 25, 2011 5:16 pm
Edited on: March 25, 2011 5:18 pm
Posted by Tom Fornelli
Remember when one of the reasons Maryland gave for letting go of Ralph Friedgen was that it had to do something to help boost ticket sales? Well, it turns out that attendance wasn't the only thing sagging during Friedgen's final years. Thanks to some bad grades in the classroom from players the last few seasons, in particular Maryland's 2-10 team of 2009, the Terps could soon find themselves without three scholarships.
While the NCAA is yet to release the latest Academic Progress Rate scores, what was apparently one bad semester in 2009 could have dragged Maryland's score below the 925 point (out of 1,000) threshold. Still, the school is optimistic that recent changes made to the program could prompt the NCAA to let it keep its available scholarships.
Athletic department officials agreed to be interviewed Thursday and confirmed that Maryland learned in January that scholarships were at risk and sought a waiver. The NCAA declined the initial waiver request but has reopened the process. Key to Maryland's argument is that academic improvements have been made since 2009 and that the school has a new president, new athletic director, new football coach and new academic support director for the program.
"We've been proactive," Dan Trump, associate AD for compliance, said in an interview. "We do recognize there was a downward trend, and we did put processes in place. If you really look at it, there is one single year where we really plummeted. That fall of '09, we struggled on the field and off the field. You take out that one semester, and we're not having this conversation."If Maryland were to lose the scholarships, it would be the first time that the school was docked scholarships in any sport since the NCAA began keeping track of APR scores in the 2003-04 school year.
It's also important to note that the fact that Maryland's scores have dipped every year from 2005 through 2010 may outweigh the changes the school has made in the eyes of the NCAA. Though, if it's any consolation to Maryland fans, the school doesn't have the lowest APR score in the ACC. No, that distinction belongs to Florida State.
Posted on: February 15, 2011 12:08 pm
Posted by Tom Fornelli
Over the weekend a report surfaced that Randy Edsall was Maryland's sixth choice to replace Ralph Friedgen. Maybe that means Edsall will have to wait for his sixth choice to find a defensive coordinator. According to the Baltimore Sun, former Miami head coach Randy Shannon has turned down Maryland's offer to become defensive coordinator.
Shannon had been offered the job last week, and had returned to his home and talked with representatives of his old school.
When he got back in touch with Maryland, he told the school that he stood to lose about $1.5 million in Miami buyout money if he signed on with Maryland, the source said.Certainly that's a decision that I can understand if I were Shannon. If I had two options, and one of them included working incredibly hard for $500,000 (I've no idea what Maryland's actual offer was) while the other was do nothing at all for $1.5 million, I think I'd choose the $1.5 million as well. Not because I'm lazy, but because I'm lazy and I like money.
Though even if I can understand Shannon's motive behind the decision, it is a shame that he won't be Maryland's defensive coordinator when the Terps meet Miami on Labor Day this season.