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Maryland AD Anderson has some `splainin¿ to do

Maryland athletic director Kevin Anderson has been on board for only a couple of months, but he has already made quite a mess with the football program. He let James Franklin walk and is trying to force out Ralph Friedgen. He has royally peeved the players. And he has somehow managed to outdo former athletic director Debbie Yow when it comes to stabbing a respected coach in the back.

Anderson has scheduled a news conference for 3 p.m. on Monday to discuss the state of the Maryland football program, and does he ever have some 'splainin' to do.

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Mainly, why did he announce last month that Friedgen would return in 2010 then turn around and attempt to push the Fridge out the door?

This complicated situation leaves me conflicted, and you might feel the same way as me.

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Firing Friedgen could be justified after the Terps went 2-10 in 2009. Sure, quarterback Chris Turner was brutal, but winning two games was unacceptable.

Then came the Terps' crazy turnaround in 2010. Maryland won eight games and earned a spot in next week's Military Bowl. Friedgen was named the ACC's Coach of the Year, and with freshman sensation Danny O'Brien, the future was looking brighter for his program. Anderson announced in late November that Friedgen could finish the final year of his current deal, something he deserved.

That's not to say I think Friedgen should still be in the long-term plans at College Park. Friedgen compiled a 74-50 record in 10 seasons and took the Terps to seven bowl games, but the program and interest in the program has declined over the past few years.

Maryland has missed out on a ton of in-state talent in Friedgen's tenure, and there is nothing sexy about Friedgen football in the always-exciting world of NCAA football. If you're not a local kid or out of luck elsewhere, why would you want to come play at Maryland?

That's why Maryland's rumored interest in Mike Leach makes sense. The brash Leach masterminded Texas Tech's high-scoring spread offense, and his Red Raiders were national darlings when they knocked off the Texans Longhorns two years ago. That's fun football, and Maryland fans would certainly flock back to Byrd Stadium to watch the Terps sling the ball around.

Leach is just an example, though. Friedgen has earned his final year, but if Anderson is certain he wants to go in another direction, I totally get it. If the guy he wants is available now, he should go get him, especially if he knows his current coach is a lame duck.

But why did Anderson announce that Friedgen would be back for 2011 then yank the invitation off the table? Did something happen during his discussions with Friedgen that we don't know about? Did Leach call him up out of the blue from a fishing boat in the middle of nowhere? Did Yow plant a computer chip in Anderson's head like the bad guy did to Reggie Jackson in "The Naked Gun?"

Like I said, Anderson has some 'splainin' to do. We need answers here. I see the logic behind pushing the Fridge out, but did Anderson really need to make such an ugly mess on the way out?

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