Van Pelt: "It turned into a thing,"

Co-host Thom Loverro: "It turned into a thing in large part because if you were writing a headline for this thing, you'd say: 'Scott Van Pelt says about Maryland fans: 'I wanted to puke.'"

Van Pelt: "That's how I felt."

Van Pelt, who has addressed the issue of campus fan support before, hardly faced withering criticism from students over his comments.

Matt Dragonette, a sophomore accounting major, wrote an editorial in the student newspaper, The Diamondback, saying that Van Pelt was right. "We can show up early, loud and consistent for games against Duke (whose fanbase does not even consider us rivals), yet we cannot support our team to the end in a blowout or defeat," Dragonette wrote.

Maryland, which is trying to increase its profile as it prepares to compete in the Big Ten next year, has embraced Van Pelt.

"I was a big fan of Scott Van Pelt, and since I've been at Maryland I have become an even bigger fan," athletic director Kevin Anderson said. "Scott has the ability to have an immediate connection with his audience. He is extremely personable and very approachable."

While at Maryland, Van Pelt says he lived in Ellicott Hall and played pickup basketball with former Terps star Keith Gatlin, among others.

"Keith said because of my shooting ability, I should walk on. I discussed it with [coach] Lefty [Driesell] but it was not like I was offered a spot," Van Pelt said.

Van Pelt considers Maryland games special, in part, because they remind him of attending games with his father, who died in 1988. His stepfather died three months later.

"Maryland is the one thing I still hold on to from my past," he said.

jeff.barker@baltsun.com

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