Terps may nudge Friedgen

Maryland is considering asking coach Ralph Friedgen to take a buyout and retire, ESPN.com reported Friday.

Athletic director Kevin Anderson told reporters he would not discuss whether Friedgen was guaranteed to return in 2011. Anderson met the media to talk about the exit of coach-in-waiting James Franklin, the offensive coordinator who took the head coaching job at Vanderbilt.

The school told Friedgen earlier this season he could come back next season, but the coach has since been pushing for a contract extension.

At least three Terps assistants have decided to follow Franklin to Vanderbilt, the report said.

Among the names that would surface as candidates should Friedgen go: former Texas Tech coach Mike Leach, former Washington coach Tyrone Willingham and current New Mexico coach Mike Locksley.

Vanderbilt: The Commodores lured offensive coordinator James Franklin from Maryland to become their coach. Franklin, who turns 39 in February, had been in line to succeed Terrapins coach Ralph Friedgen. "It was obvious to me right away that this place could be something really special," Franklin said. "I was blown away by the people." Franklin replaces Robbie Caldwell, who took over July 14 after Bobby Johnson unexpectedly retired last November. Franklin will be the first black coach of any major sport at Vanderbilt and the third in SEC football, after former Mississippi State coach Sylvester Croom and Kentucky coach Joker Phillips.

USF bowl tickets: USF and Clemson are on the hook for 12,500 tickets each for the Dec. 31 Meineke Car Care Bowl in Charlotte, N.C. Clemson has sold about 9,000, USF about 2,800. Bowl officials said about 40,000 have been sold total.

UCF: Attorneys for the parents of a player who died after a 2008 offseason conditioning workout filed a motion in Orange County Civil Court seeking punitive damages in their wrongful-death lawsuit. The parents of Ereck Plancher already were seeking compensatory damages. They allege that coaches and trainers ignored signs of fatigue that led to their son's death. The school says every effort was made to save Plancher. An autopsy showed Plancher had a sickle cell trait that caused problems with his red blood cells during physical exertion.

Division I-AA playoffs: Host Eastern Washington (12-2) took advantage of four fumbles by defending champion Villanova in a 41-31 victory to advance to the national title game Jan. 7. The Eagles will meet the winner of today's Delaware-Georgia Southern semifinal in Frisco, Texas.

Times staff writer Greg Auman contributed to this report.

Terps may nudge Friedgen 12/17/10 [Last modified: Saturday, December 18, 2010 12:08am]

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