Terps' Portis ineligible for '07

The Baltimore Sun

COLLEGE PARK -- Maryland backup quarterback Josh Portis has been ruled ineligible for the season because he violated the university's academic honor code, he said yesterday.

Portis, the fastest and perhaps most hyped of Maryland's top three quarterbacks, told The Sun yesterday that his grade point average was at least 2.0 and that he did not plagiarize but would not say exactly what the violation was.

"I'm just extremely disappointed I made a mistake in violating the academic honor code," said Portis, who didn't attend the Terps' 31-14 win over Villanova yesterday. "I'm supporting my teammates throughout this. I apologize to everybody and the people who were supporting me. I really apologize for that. The future is going to be bright for the Terps."

Portis, who has been vying with starter Jordan Steffy for playing time, can practice and said he will rejoin the team tomorrow. Portis transferred from Florida and sat out last season because of NCAA transfer rules. He will have two years of eligibility remaining.

"He made an innocent mistake," his mother, Patricia, said. "There's a lot of things students should really look into to make sure they understand the academic code of conduct and the detail of it."

Friedgen said this past week he planned to use both quarterbacks this season, and also said the team considered using Portis to return kickoffs. Friedgen said he found out Friday that was no longer an option. Still, he was sympathetic to Portis' situation.

"Kids make mistakes," Friedgen said. "This is no indication of what type of person he is."heather.dinich@baltsun.com

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