COLLEGE PARK — COLLEGE PARK--Joe Krivak, still Maryland's football coach, strode into the room with the smile of a man who had just signed a new contract.
But he hadn't.
"Are you optimistic, Joe?" a man said.
"You know me, I'm always optimistic," Krivak said.
So much for reading too much into a smile and a purposeful stride.
For the second straight day, Krivak and athletic director Andy Geiger met for a few hours yesterday to thrash out each other's concerns about Maryland football, including whether Krivak should remain as coach.
Geiger had a terse no comment for all questions relating to their discussions, except to confirm that they did indeed meet and would meet again today.
Was progress made? "No comment," Geiger said.
"We had a real good discussion," Krivak allowed.
After conferring with Geiger, Krivak went to the funeral of Merrell Whittlesey, father of Terps offensive coordinator Tony. Whittlesey, 75, a retired Washington sportswriter and frequently the official scorer at Orioles games in recent years, suffered a heart attack Saturday while watching the Maryland-Virginia game on TV.
Krivak plans to leave tonight for Weirton, W. Va., to spend the Thanksgiving weekend with his wife Jeannie's relatives. He expects to return Sunday evening and be at his desk Monday. If no decision is made today, he indicated, there probably will be no movement until next week.
Senior linebacker Scott Whittier chipped in with his two cents' worth on the Krivak question. He pointed out that Larry Webster (6 feet 5, 275) and Lubo Zizakovic (6-7, 256) will be the only "prototype" defensive linemen on the squad next year.
"There are no more left of their size," Whittier said. "It's evident that Maryland is running out of depth, so things won't get any easier for Krivak. They should rehire him and give him more academic exceptions so he can compete on an even level with other ACC schools. Then, if he still doesn't go to a bowl in four years, let him go."
The football team uses some of its eight allowed academic exceptions a year on high school players who are below the school's admission standard for athletes (an 850 SAT score and a 2.5 GPA) but well over the NCAA's. The NCAA standard is 700 and 2.0.
"Maryland can still keep its academic standards, but there should be more exceptions," Whittier said.
NTC "For the team to try to compete in the ACC with the toughest schedule and hardest academic standards is ridiculous."