- The Washington Times - Tuesday, February 4, 2003

The University of Maryland is reviewing allegations that an assistant football coach offered money to a Baltimore prep star.
Terrapins sources yesterday said the NCAA is investigating whether the assistant offered $300 to defensive end Victor Abiamiri of Gilman School, an elite private institution in Baltimore. Albiamiri, who was rated the nation's No.1 pass rushing end by ESPN.com, has committed to Notre Dame.
The university confirmed in a short statement that it is cooperating with NCAA officials on what it considered a violation that is "secondary in nature." Schools aren't permitted to give recruits gifts or money. ESPN reported linebackers coach Rod Sharpless is being investigated for his involvement. The review is expected to conclude within two weeks.
Maryland football coach Ralph Friedgen could not be reached for comment.
If Maryland is found to have committed an infraction it probably would be considered a "secondary" violation and would not bring major sanctions like loss of scholarships or bowl ineligibility. However, it could be lumped with future violations to create a severe penalty.
Alabama received a five-year probation in September because of numerous recruiting violations, including two years without bowls and 21 lost scholarships. Kentucky was given a one-year bowl ban and five lost scholarships for extensive recruiting violations.
Coincidentally, the investigation comes at the end of the recruiting season. Maryland will announce more than 20 signings tomorrow.
Gwynn Park linebacker Wesley Jefferson and Dunbar tight end Vernon Davis are considered the Terrapins' standout signings. Both are rated among the top players in the nation at their positions.
Quarterbacks Dan Gronkowski (Williamsville, N.Y.) and Ryan Mitch (DeMatha) have verbally committed. Running backs Ken Lattimore (Baltimore) and Lance Ball (Teaneck, N.J.); receiver Andrew Weatherly (Georgetown, Del.); center Robert Jenkins (Nassau, N.Y.); offensive tackle Brock Choate (Williamsport, Pa.); and guards Garrick Clig (Port Orange, Fla.), Andrew Crummey (Van Wert, Ohio) and Donnie Woods (Tampa, Fla.) have committed.
Defensively, ends Jermaine Lemons (Tampa, Fla.), Omar Savage (Piscataway, N.J.) and Patrick Powell (Chesterfield, Va.); tackles Robert Armstrong (Fork Union, Va.), Conrad Bolston (St. John's College Prep) and Dre Moore (Charlotte, N.C.); cornerback Josh Wilson (DeMatha); and safety Dominique Richmond (Hagerstown, Md.) are also expected.

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