Despite the 1-6 record, Bozeman believes "we're getting it back now with this recruiting class — those guys are going to be really solid players. I like the leadership they have. I like the energy. We still got to get more players."

What remains uncertain is whether Bozeman will be around to see this group grow. He is in the last year of his contract and said he is not currently negotiating an extension. Earlier this week, longtime football coach Donald Hill-Eley was not retained after his 12th season at the school.

Longtime athletic director Floyd Kerr did not return telephone calls seeking comment about Bozeman.

Bozeman doesn't think the uncertainty about his future will hurt him in recruiting.

"We just signed two kids early," Bozeman said. "What's the difference between that and someone saying, 'Bozeman's going to leave'? Because that's what happens every year. This is my eighth season. Shoot, I sat out longer than I've been here."

Bozeman is referring to the 10-year stretch that included an eight-year show-cause order by the NCAA after he was forced to resign in 1996 amid recruiting violations at Cal. Many schools, wary of NCAA requirements that any team interested in hiring Bozeman first request permission, backed away from him then.

Little has changed. Despite the success he had at Morgan State, including reaching the MEAC tournament championship game In March during a late-season eight-game winning streak to finish a respectable 17-15, Bozeman has been barely looked at for any other jobs. Towson wouldn't even interview him in 2011 when Pat Kennedy was fired and Pat Skerry was hired.

"I've grown to accept things as they come, and as they are," Bozeman said. "When I was younger, I used to worry all the time about stuff. I've gotten away from that. I just do my thing and let the chips fall where they may. I try not to worry about tomorrow. I try to handle today."

Bozeman also has taken some heat for recruiting his own son and quickly giving him a prominent role on the team. A solid defensive point guard who seems to carry the same chip as his father on the court, the younger Bozeman has developed into a leader despite a lack of gaudy offensive stats.

Before he brought his son to Morgan State, the elder Bozeman said he consulted with other prominent Division I coaches who recruited their sons and eventually gave them starting jobs, including Tubby Smith, who coached two of his sons, Saul and G.G., now the coach at Loyola.

Bozeman said he has not heard the criticism about the way he uses his son.

"If you come to practice, you'll see why I play who I play," Bozeman said. "It's been a great experience. I'm so grateful for the opportunity. I researched it before I did it. I talked to Tubby and I talked to Bob McKillop [at Davidson] and Billy Hahn when he coached his son [Matt] at Maryland [as an assistant coach]. It has been a great experience because you see him continue to grow as a young man and how he handles different experiences. It's the same with a lot of the guys."

As for his future, Bozeman is not thinking much past Friday night's game.

"I'm just coaching my team and I'm just trying to enjoy the guys and enjoy the season," he said. "I'm happy coaching. I'm going to be happy coaching."

don.markus@baltsun.com

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