“I just wanted to make sure that everybody was clear that I’m the athletic director here and we’re going into a football season that’s going to define our program” “And it’s probably one of the most critical seasons that we have faced and that we might ever face with everything that’s happened, so I need to have the student-athletes know I’m committed, we’re committed, but also our coaching staff. So that’s a concern of mine, and the other thing is going through what we did with having to discontinue teams and everything else. I don’t want anybody to think, ‘Oh, OK, so now he’s jumping ship.”
With those words, from the Baltimore Sun, Maryland Athletic Director Kevin Anderson squashed any rumor that he was leaving for Stanford. First of all, I don’t get who in the world would think that Kevin Anderson was going to go to Stanford. I know he has ties there, but really. Did anyone who follows Maryland think for a second he was leaving?
I hate to dog pile, but when I heard the news I was happy, but like the “Orioles are in first in the second week of May Happy”. Yes genuinely happy, but knowing the story was a long way from being a reality. But what we do have here is a bit telling. If you go back and look at what Kevin Anderson is saying, this is a VERY big Football Season for not only Maryland, but Kevin Anderson.
Heck throw Wallace Loh in there too. The quote is actually two parts with the first sentence addressing the football season and the second one addressing the rest of the Athletic Department.
But before we touch on football, I want to talk a little bit about the last sentence. I am not a Kevin Anderson fan, never understood why he was chosen, can’t believe how poorly he handled the Friedgen situation, and was stunned when Mike Leach was passed over for Randy Edsall. But never have I questioned the guys loyalty. I think as a person, he is probably a stand up dude who feels terrible about cutting all the programs he had to cut, considering he pretty much inherited the situation he now finds himself in. So let’s be clear on that.
Going back to the first part of the quote about football season and defining our program, I have to say, this shocks me. We are in year two of the Edsall era, and I can’t speak for everyone, but if 2012 is going to define our program, then we have issues. I do NOT expect to go to a Bowl Game this season. To hitch your wagon to the 2012 Terps, is noble, but has a slight stench of desperation to it. But what I’m asking for here is a little accountability. If this season is so big that you have to come out and say it, then if we fall flat on our face we HAVE to do something. Don’t just give us lip service that things are getting better and we just need time to see the results on the field. You brought in this coach, he is the reason season tickets are not being renewed, at some point we have to cut our losses.
I’m not hoping for a terrible season, in fact I would love nothing more than to go 8-4 or hell 7-5, I hate it when we suck. I hate writing posts about things I think should be done, but never will be. I like focusing on football, not criticizing coaches and AD’s. But man alive, hire Leach and I feel this mess would have been so much better off*. Hell keeping Fridge, this mess would be so much better off, but you did neither. Now stand by your words, and stand by your coach, and if this season is so important, and improvements aren’t being made, pull the plug on this experiment.
I promise you, us Maryland fans will be a lot more forgiving of a “My Bad”, then we will of having the same crappy product shoved under our noses and being told how great it is. And now more than ever you need our money, so maybe it’s time to start listening.
In the meantime though, let’s hope for a great season and pray that we already have in fact bottomed out, and are indeed back on the rise. That’s a scenario I think all parties can live with!
*Baggage aside, how many tickets were sold at Washington State when they made that hire?