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Update: Terps remove Vandy restriction from O’Brien transfer

O'Brien Edsall AP

UPDATED 9:54 a.m. ET: Maryland confirmed via a press release that offensive lineman Max Garcia, quarterback Danny O’Brien and linebacker Mario Rowson have all been granted a full release from the football program with no transfer restrictions.

“While at first I thought it was important to limit the institutions to which they could transfer, I have since reconsidered my decision” head coach Randy Edsall said in a statement. “At the end of the day, I want what’s best for these guys and I wish them well in their futures.

“As a program we are looking forward to putting this distraction behind us and to moving forward. Spring practice opens on March 10 and we can’t wait to get back out on the field.”

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Apparently, the backlash was extremely effective.  Or the football program stepped into a puddle of class and caught a swift case of common decency, one of the two.

Heavily criticized for limiting the transfer options of quarterback Danny O’Brien and two other players, Maryland is backing off that stance, with the Baltimore Sun reporting that all three players will now be permitted to transfer to Vanderbilt if they so desire.  The Sun wrote that “Terps coach Randy Edsall is meeting with the players this morning and informing them of the decision.”

O’Brien, along with offensive lineman Max Garcia and linebacker Mario Rowson, were granted releases from their scholarships earlier this month, although the releases came with stipulations: no transfers to ACC schools; any upcoming non-conference opponents, including West Virginia and Temple; and Vandy, coached by former Terps offensive coordinator James Franklin.  The first two stipulations are standard, while the third was viewed, and rightly so, as vindictive, petty and classless.

Part of the pettiness on the Terps’ part was the school reportedly believed Vandy had “tampered” with the players, particularly O’Brien.  Franklin has denied the accusations and insinuations.  That said, the Sun reports that the school will continue to pursue the tampering issue through the ACC and SEC.

According to the Washington Post, a formal complaint has already been filed with the ACC, which in turn forwarded the matter to the SEC for further investigation.

Despite the Terps’ sudden benevolence, there’s no guarantee O’Brien will end up with the Commodores, however.  In addition to Vandy, schools such as Wisconsin, Oklahoma State, Michigan State, USF, Stanford,  Ole Miss, East Carolina and Arizona have been mentioned as potential destinations.

Garcia has been offered scholarships from Auburn, Georgia, Florida and Ole Miss since his release, while both Alabama and South Carolina are reportedly considering doing the same.

Maryland’s decision to rescind the Vandy stipulation, though, could change the direction of both situations.

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6 Responses to “Update: Terps remove Vandy restriction from O’Brien transfer”
  1. woebegong says: Feb 22, 2012 9:26 AM

    And we thought school sports administrators didn’t listen to what the fans have to say. Can you say, “Face saving measure by one vindictive and soon to be former coach”, in the ACC? Even a SEC guy like myself, whose only connection with Maryland was being born and raised there,realized that that coaches move was one of the dumbest, bad publicity stunts he could have pulled. Edsall didn’t just get egg on his face, he had the whole darn chicken house land on him.

  2. wethog66 says: Feb 22, 2012 9:40 AM

    Public pressure played a part I am sure, but it was reported on local radio yesterday that a number of Mike Locksley’s former players at NMU are interested in transfering to UMD. Kind of hard to limit O’Brien and his fellow transfers from following their former coach when UMD could potentially add a number of players from the Offensive Cooridnators former school.

    That, and preventing O’Brien from going to Vandy was simply stupid.

  3. thraiderskin says: Feb 22, 2012 10:25 AM

    Seriously, who goes after Vanderbilt? I said it in a previous article, but it never got explained, why was poor Vandy targetted? It can’t be to simply limit possible schools.

  4. lemmam says: Feb 22, 2012 10:26 AM

    Edsall thinks he’s Tom Coughlin who he played for while at Syracuse and then coached under. Edsall’s another egomaniac coach. And why anyone would follow the idiot Locksley is beyond me. The guy has no integrity whatsoever.

  5. woebegong says: Feb 22, 2012 10:35 AM

    It had something to do with the accusation that Franklin had somehow tampered with the kid. I would bet a big mac, O’Brien contacted Franklin first and I don’t even have much respect for franklin.

  6. cubano76 says: Feb 22, 2012 1:30 PM

    I can’t remember a time when a coach is coming and garnered so much negative publicity, as well as being disliked by his players and the fans. I’m sure it’s happened before, but this entire situation that Maryland has been a mess since the day they had his press conference introducing. I don’t know who looks worse the coach or the athletic director.

    Either way it Maryland doesn’t start the season on a high note, I just don’t see the fans showing up to support a program that has been a disaster the last year.

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