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Terps football program receives NCAA violations related to practice

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Maryland's football program has been docked practice time during the 2011 season for NCAA secondary violations that occurred under former coach Ralph Friedgen, according to documents and school officials.

The Terps violated NCAA rules by exceeding practice-time limits during the 2010 season and allowing graduate assistants and interns to monitor summer workouts.

Maryland self-reported the violations and recommended penalties — which the NCAA has accepted — that will include the loss of 2 ½ hours of the normal 20 hours a week maximum for practices and games. The penalties will be enforced during the 2011 season. Maryland officials confirmed details Friday in response to inquiries.

"It's significant," football coach Randy Edsall said in an interview. Edsall helped uncover the violations, which the school reported to the NCAA in May, according to Maryland documents.

Edsall is entering his first season. The penalties sting more than they otherwise would since Maryland is installing new offensive and defensive systems.

The violations occurred when the team was coached by Friedgen. The final season of Friedgen's contract was bought out, and he was replaced by Edsall in January.

"We'll deal with it and I'll put together a weekly practice plan that will allow us to do the things we need to do," Edsall said. "We'll be prepared for every game."

Maryland's weekly practice total went over the maximum because mandatory activities were not reported correctly.

"Specifically, 30 minutes of meeting sessions and 30 minutes of practice on Mondays and one hour of weightlifting on Wednesdays were not accurately reported," Maryland said in a May 5 letter to Chris Strobel, NCAA director of enforcement for secondary violations. "During the review it was apparent that the coaches and staff at the time believed those activities were voluntary in nature; however, when reviewed in detail, the institution determined the activities to be mandatory."

Maryland football will be limited to 17 hours, 30 minutes of "athletically related activities" per week for the 2011 season, beginning when school resumes this fall, according to the school.

In a separate letter, Maryland reported to Strobel in May that an intern improperly observed and occasionally instructed players during eight football workouts last summer. The intern provided play lists to quarterbacks. A second intern and two graduate assistants also sometimes observed the workouts.

Under Maryland's self-imposed punishment, interns will not participate in this August's practices, and graduate assistants will be restricted from attending the first 16 practices.

Maryland learned this week that the NCAA planned to sign off on its suggested penalties.

Friedgen could not be reached for comment. The former coach has limited his comments to the media since leaving town at the end of last season, in which the Terps finished 9-4.

Maryland is already facing the loss of three football scholarships this fall because of poor academic performance in recent years — particularly the 2-10 season of 2009.

The scholarships penalty will be imposed in the fall. It will be the first time Maryland has been docked scholarships in any sport since the NCAA began collecting such academic data in 2003-04.

jeff.barker@baltsun.com

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