Maryland football coach Randy Edsall doesn’t seem to be dwelling on the three-scholarship penalty the Terrapins will absorb this fall for falling short of the NCAA’s Academic Progress Rate cut score.
Instead, he’s more interested in making sure it doesn’t happen again.
Edsall said he already began implementing changes to the program’s approach to academics. He was hired in January to replace the fired Ralph Friedgen.
“We’ll be compliant with the 82 [scholarships] for August and the thing is we have to play the cards that we were dealt,” Edsall said Monday. “This is the hand we were dealt. A lot of people were unaware of it, but we’ll deal with it. I’m not going to focus on the past. I’m going to focus on the now and the future.”
Maryland said Saturday it expected to have an APR score of 922, shy of the 925 cut score the NCAA considers an acceptable level. The APR is designed to be a real-time snapshot of a program’s academic progress.
Still, it is a rolling four-year score, and a particularly rough year won’t disappear from a program’s APR figure overnight. The addition of the 2009-10 school year helped drag down the Terps’ APR, but this is also the fifth straight year the figure has decreased.
The program peaked at 947 in the data released in 2006, followed by scores of 944, 943, 931 and 929.
“I’m a guy who thinks we can get it done right away and that’s what we’ll shoot for,” Edsall said. “That’s my timetable to get this thing fixed, and hopefully we’ll get most of it fixed by the end of the semester. We have to get this plan in place and the young men attuned to it, and they’re doing that.”
Edsall said among his changes will be having the Terps practice on Sundays rather than Mondays. Friedgen’s teams had Sundays off and then worked out on Monday evenings.
The idea behind the Monday off day is to allow players to have opportunities to take lab classes and visit professors during office hours.
“I feel good about the program we’re putting into place to allow our young men to be successful in the classroom,” Edsall said. “They understand they’re going to be held accountable.”
—- Patrick Stevens