The NCAA's director of eligibility said that her office has received Maryland's request for an appeal of the gambling suspensions dealt Scott Milanovich and Matt Raydo, and it is her hope that the Eligibility Committee rules on the case next week.
"We received the appeal yesterday [Thursday] afternoon," Carrie Doyle said. "We're shooting for it to be heard next week. Right now, we're trying to reach everyone on the committee. They're from all parts of the country, and some of them are on vacation."
The teleconference between Eligibility Committee members, the NCAA and Maryland might not be as difficult to coordinate as others, since not all members of the committee are expected to participate. The five Division I members of the 11-member committee will hear the appeal, and one of them, Chuck Ehrhardt, represents Florida State, which Maryland plays Nov. 18.
Another committee member with a possible conflict of interest is Sandy Barbour of Tulane, Maryland's season-opening opponent.
Milanovich, the Terps' starting quarterback, was suspended for two games by Maryland for violating the NCAA rule against gambling on intercollegiate athletics, a penalty the NCAA's Eligibility Appeals staff extended to eight games.
Doyle said that as of yesterday afternoon, none of the five had recused themselves from the case.
Prior communication between Maryland and the committee members is not allowed.
"The eligibility office and the institution cannot discuss the case with the committee members one-on-one," Doyle said. "The eligibility office will send to the committee members any documents relevant to the case, including Maryland's request for an appeal, which sets out its rationale."
Doyle said that information has not been sent to the committee members.
There is a sense of urgency to the appeal, since Milanovich probably will apply for the NFL's supplemental draft later this month if his suspension remains at eight games or if it is not lessened considerably.
The Maryland sports information office is also in a holding pattern. Under normal circumstances, the football media guide would be completed by next week, but production will be delayed until the appeal is heard. Maryland will delete biographical information on Milanovich should he leave the team.
Maryland is encouraged that in four of seven Division I cases heard last year, the Eligibility Committee reduced penalties handed down by Doyle's office.
Raydo, a junior basketball guard who played 35 minutes in 12 games last season, was suspended for seven games at the conclusion of Maryland's investigation into gambling, a penalty the NCAA extended to 20 games.
"If Matt was suspended one game, that showed he did it [violated the NCAA's rule against gambling]," coach Gary Williams said. "What do they get out of suspending him 19 more games?
"The good point that comes out, it shows there is a problem, but I think the length of suspension in terms of solving the problem doesn't do anything," Williams said. "It's a national problem, not a University of Maryland problem. It's a problem in our society."