One of the areas in which Anderson has already received high marks is fundraising. He has taken advantage of the excitement surrounding Turgeon in particular, with the advent of the Sweet 16 booster group whose members will donate $50,000 each for five years and is in the process of putting together a similar group of 22 boosters (at $22,000 a year) for football.

"He's brought a sense of urgency and a degree of fundraising that we haven't had at Maryland in a long time — maybe ever," said Barry DesRoches, another longtime booster and alum.

Anderson believes that one of the reasons why Turgeon has been so well-received while Edsall has been widely criticized has not only to do with how their teams performed and the coaches' images portrayed in the media. The men's basketball team finished 17-15, with a 6-10 record in the Atlantic Coast Conference, yet Turgeon is almost revered for his honesty and humility. Edsall is perceived as being evasive and arrogant.

Turgeon's hiring received the blessing of Gary Williams.

"When you look at the way things happened with Ralph and the way things happened with Gary, Gary went out a hero, as he should, and he endorsed Mark," Anderson said. "There's the difference right there. If it had been different with Ralph it might have been different with Randy. I take full responsibility. You don't know how badly I feel about some of the things that have been written and said about Randy. It's not the person I know and I know it's not the person people are projecting."

As for Anderson, he inherited an athletic program that appeared to be successful but had become badly bloated by the expenses needed to fund 27 teams, including competitive cheerleading and women's water polo. . Those are among the teams that will be cut once the June 30 deadline to raise the necessary funds to keep them going passes.

"I didn't come here to cut any sports," Anderson said. "I think that's the biggest thing I've had to deal with as a challenge. The most difficult thing aside from experiencing death in my family was going in and telling those young people that there was a strong possibility that we might eliminate their sports. I went through a couple of weeks there, that was extremely hard. I don't wish that on anybody. There could be another 2 ½ months that there could be some difficult days ahead for me if it comes out negative."

Given the fact that many at the university weren't aware of the athletic program's shortfall, projected for this fiscal year at nearly $5 million, Anderson said that he "didn't know everything walking in here" and he might have had "some conversations with some folks" had he known . But he said he he has not second-guessed himself for leaving a fairly secure position at West Point.

After the cuts are made – and Anderson hopes a couple of teams are saved – the next measuring stick will come this fall. Despite the arrival of five-star recruits Diggs and Good Counsel teammate Wes Brown at running back, as well as the return of most of last year's young defense, the team's record is not expected to improve much in Edsall's second season.

So what happens if the Terps don't improve much, if at all?

"Then we're just going to have alternative plans to get through that, and make things happen the way they will, " Anderson said. "Eventually it will happen. If it doesn't, some other people that I report to will have to answer that question as well. I know I have the support of the president, the chancellor. They see what we're trying to do. I think they feel confident that we're going to get it done. I believe our vision and what we want for the institution is the right thing. At some point in time, I've seen it happen with other people, if they don't believe that, wherever the cards fall, they'll fall. But I can go to sleep at night knowing we're doing the right thing."

don.markus@baltsun.com

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