There was negative news out of the Maryland football camp on the eve of spring practice. Linebacker Cleveland Everhart will not participate after his arrest on burglary and theft charges.
Everhart, a senior from Highland Park, Mich., who was granted an extra year of eligibility by the NCAA because of medical hardship, was arrested by campus police at a residence hall March 19 and charged with two counts of first-degree burglary and one count of credit card theft.
Everhart, a junior-college transfer from Northeastern Oklahoma A&M; who started several games in 1993 but suffered a knee injury in the third game of 1994, is the second Terps football player to be arrested in as many months. In February, running back Brian Underwood was implicated in the fraudulent use of a telephone credit card. Underwood will participate in spring practice.
Coach Mark Duffner, who announced through a school spokesman earlier yesterday that Everhart was being held out of spring practice because of a violation of team rules, could not be reached for comment last night.
The Terps will begin their spring practice under Duffner tonight, and eight weekday sessions over four weeks will be held at night. One of the reasons for night practices is that Maryland wants to avoid the academic pitfalls of last season, when three defensive linemen were ruled ineligible on the eve of the opener.
The Terps will have an organized study hall weekdays from 3 to 6 p.m., practice on Tuesday and Thursday nights, and practice on Saturday and Sunday.
Spring practice will conclude April 22 at Byrd Stadium with the third annual Alumni Game. The alumni will be coached by Dick Shiner, the quarterback when the Terps scored their only victory in 37 tries against Penn State, in 1961.
Last year, six Terps were held out of spring practice to work on academics. This year, that number is down to two, sophomore defensive lineman Cornelius White and junior cornerback Johnnie Johnson.
Duffner also will be monitoring the academic progress of record-setting quarterback Scott Milanovich, who earned no credits last fall after flirting with the idea of declaring for the NFL draft. Duffner said he believes Milanovich will come through in the classroom, and said the senior-to-be is in peak physical condition.
"Scott's in the best shape he's ever been in," Duffner said last week. "He's as thin as I've ever seen him. He had a very productive off-season."
Experimentation with other offensive looks slowed the development of the run-and-shoot last season, but Duffner said the Terps will work chiefly on their basic offense this spring. Four of the top five wide receivers return.
Current freshmen Underwood, Buddy Rodgers, Kendall Ogle and Chaney Milner will compete for the superback spot vacated by Allen Williams.
The Terps were hardest hit by graduation on the offensive line, where four veterans departed, including probable NFL first-round draft choice Steve Ingram. Pat Ward, a redshirt freshman who plugged in on the defensive line last fall, has been moved back to offense, and tackles Aaron Henne and Farad Hall also will be tried on offense.
That still leaves Maryland with 10 scholarship defensive linemen for spring drills. The Terps have more than a dozen players who started on defense over the past two years, but linebacker Ratcliff Thomas and cornerback Andreal Johnson, who each have two years of eligibility remaining, have been the only consistently strong performers in that time.