Rumor has it that Randy Edsall will coach his last game for Maryland this Saturday, barring an upset of sizeable proportion (UM’s on a run in which its three losses have come by an average score of 40 to 11).
What’s noteworthy about it is the contractual maneuvering leading up to the season. Edsall got his contract extended for three years, ostensibly to enhance his position in recruiting, but…
… just $500,000 of the $7.5 million was guaranteed money; by firing Edsall before his original deal ends Jan. 15, 2017, the school will have to pay him for the remainder of this season and an additional $2.6 million: $2.1 million for next year’s salary and that half-million buyout.
As votes of encouragement go, that was kind of a mixed message.
Even though Maryland’s going to be shelling out some major dollars on the buyout, it doesn’t sound like it had much of a choice, financially speaking, as boosters had begun withholding donations.
Still in the process of raising funds for its $155-million football facility, low booster morale was making it difficult for the school’s fundraisers to elicit donations. With this year’s team looking like it will struggle through the remainder of the season, negativity mounting and players grumbling, Maryland officials decided the situation was untenable and accelerated their plan to remove Edsall.
“No donor I know is happy,” one source told IMS after Maryland gave up 42 second-half points in a 48-27 loss to Bowling Green on Sept. 12. “None of them were happy with the game, Edsall, or the direction of the program. Haskins may well save his job for this year, but no donor I know is happy.”
That ain’t good. Neither is this.
Maryland’s team held a players-only meeting prior to the Michigan loss and intentionally kept Edsall out of the loop, resulting in his admission he was unaware of the meeting. The message, per sources, was to play for pride against Michigan, but it wasn’t a rally to save their coach’s job.
“It was, ‘It may be his program but it’s our team,” a source with knowledge of the meeting told IMS.
Sure seem to be a lot of people willing to talk behind Edsall’s back. I wonder why that’s so.
Off the field, he’d also earned praise for improving the program’s academic standing and avoiding off-field issues — along with the aforementioned recruiting class next to arrive next year. And for the most part, sources said, the current players like Edsall personally. But he lost their support with his program-wide rigidness — at times he’s taken names off jerseys and banned baseball caps, ‘do’ rags, untrimmed facial hair and earrings in efforts to stifle selfish individualism — along with his refusal to play more aggressively and tendency to blame them for losses.
Hokay – a likeable enough guy who blames his players for losing. Randy Edsall’s gonna Randy Edsall… right out of a job.