- The Washington Times - Thursday, September 13, 2001

This weekend's Maryland football game has joined the growing list of athletic events postponed or canceled in the aftermath of Tuesday's tragedies.

The home game with West Virginia scheduled for Saturday night was moved to Sept. 29 after the ACC voted unanimously yesterday to cancel all league events through Saturday.

"At the end of the day, it seemed right to handle it this way," said Maryland athletic director Debbie Yow, who participated in a teleconference with university presidents and administrators. "We determined this course was best to show respect for the people affected by the terrible events."

Yow said security was a concern, but it was a secondary factor in the decision.

The Penn State at Virginia game originally scheduled for tonight will take place Dec. 1 in Charlottesville. The dates of other ACC games like No. 10 Georgia Tech at sixth-ranked Florida State were not immediately determined.

Also, Navy's game at Northwestern, originally scheduled for Saturday, was canceled and will not be made up because the schools do not share any open dates.

Switching the Mountaineers-Terrapins football game to a noon kickoff Sept. 29 was relatively easy because both teams had that Saturday off. The move means Maryland will play nine consecutive weeks to end the regular season. The team next plays at Wake Forest on Sept. 22.

Terps coach Ralph Friedgen was informed of the postponement during yesterday afternoon's practice and told the team at a meeting just before practice wrapped up. Players took the inconvenience in stride.

"To postpone the game, for somebody to be get upset about that, would be ridiculous," wide receiver Guilian Gary said, "because it's really minuscule compared to what's going on [with] the Twin Towers and Pentagon, and what's going on in our country right now… . You have to take a step back and look at the big picture."

Said center Melvin Fowler: "It's a time of mourning for the country right now."

Gary and Fowler are both from New York, so Tuesday was harrowing for them as they tried to contact family and friends. Fowler is one of several Terps with a relative working at the World Trade Center or in the Pentagon at the time of the crashes. Fortunately, all were unhurt.

Fowler's brother, Kevin Walker, was in his 40th-floor office at the World Trade Center at the time of one of the plane crashes. Fowler finally found out his brother was okay about five hours after the nightmare began, and spoke with him Tuesday night. Fowler's brother told him about the sound of the plane hitting the building and the ensuing pandemonium. Walker ran down the 40 flights to escape.

"He went to the back of the building and ran out and went on a dead sprint," said Fowler, whose brother attends most Maryland home games. "He saw people flying out from the windows up top. He saw people jumping. He just turned his head and kept running. About five or 10 minutes later, he turned around and saw the whole building collapse … It was traumatic."

The Terps (2-0, 1-0 ACC) get the weekend off and will start preparing on Monday for Wake Forest (2-0, 0-0). Maryland will play three games in 13 days, starting with the Demon Deacons.

Note Reserve quarterback Chris Kelley, who underwent arthroscopic knee surgery last month, is practicing in non-contact drills. Friedgen is optimistic the redshirt freshman from Seneca Valley High will be cleared for full practice in two weeks.


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