Thanks to his players, Randy Edsall, as Desi would say, has some esplainin’ to do following Maryland’s win over Penn State.
A few players from both teams were involved in a pregame, for lack of a better word, scuffle, which cost their team 15 yards after a penalty was assessed for unsportsmanlike conduct. Then, during the pregame coin toss, the Terps’ captains refused to, as is customary, shake the hands of their Nittany Lion counterparts. Quite bluntly, it was a classless act by the supposed leaders of the team.
It took James Franklin aback, with the head coach stating that “I’ve never been a part of that. In 20 years, I’ve never seen that before.”
To Edsall’s credit, he immediately took ownership of the issue during the post-game press conference and apologized for his players’ actions.
“Let me just start off by saying that I want to apologize to the Penn State fans, to their team and their university for what took place at the beginning of the game,” he said. “That is not who we are. Our emotions got the best of us, and we’ve got to be above that.”
Edsall added that the non-handshake “was not orchestrated or choreographed” and that “we’ve got to be above that” kind of behavior.
The coach wasn’t the only one offering up a mea culpa. Edsall’s boss, athletic director Kevin Anderson, issued his own apology in a statement.
“We are extremely disappointed in the actions of our captains involved in today’s coin toss prior to today’s kickoff against Penn State,” Anderson said in the statement. “Their behavior is not a reflection of how our student-athletes should conduct themselves in athletic competition. On behalf of president Dr. Wallace D. Loh, head coach Randy Edsall and myself, we extend our sincere apology to Penn State University president Dr. Eric J. Barron, director of athletics Sandy Barbour, head coach James Franklin and the Penn State football program.”