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Friday, December 17, 2010
Maryland staff, players left in limbo

By Heather Dinich

There is miscommunication and confusion going on at Maryland right now.

Maryland AD Kevin Anderson is strongly considering asking coach Ralph Friedgen to take a buyout and retire, ESPN.com's Joe Schad is reporting. Friedgen did not answer his cell phone for immediate comment, and a source said he went home instead of participating in a scheduled teleconference with Anderson and reporters Friday afternoon.

The program is being torn apart at the seams, and there's literally nothing this staff can say to hide it from recruits.

Forget next year, these guys don't know if they'll be employed next week.

Earlier Friday, offensive coordinator James Franklin left to be Vanderbilt's head coach, and he reportedly plans to take several assistants with him. Sources said that Friedgen left the office Friday without talking to any staff members about the situation, and everyone was left wondering about their future. The assistants, their families and the players are the ones who have been hurt the most by the upheaval at Maryland -- not Friedgen. He'll get a cool $2 million out of the deal.

If Maryland is going to salvage this mess (and what an embarrassing, disorganized display of leadership this has been), it's going to have to come from Kevin Plank.

Plank, founder of Under Armour and former Terp, has the money. Maryland can't afford to both fire Friedgen and hire a big-name coach. He has ties to former Texas Tech coach Mike Leach, but Leach still has some legal baggage and hurdles to overcome in that regard. Plank respects Friedgen -- Maryland was the first program in the country to endorse his product -- but he respects the program more.

If he wants a change, he's got the money and the power to make it happen.

It's not Plank's job, though, to take care of the current staff and players -- it's Friedgen's, and today, he didn't get it done.