University of Maryland junior tackle Larry Webster, perhaps the team's best defensive player, has been declared academically ineligible for spring practice and could miss the entire 1991 season.
Maryland coach Joe Krivak confirmed yesterday that Webster was ineligible for the annual April practice sessions.
To compete, a freshman must maintain a 1.29 cumulative grade-point average on a 4.0 scale. The GPA requirement increases to 1.70 for sophomores, 1.85 for juniors and 2.0 for seniors.
"I'm really not that awfully concerned because I believe Larry will get it done," said Krivak. "It is important that we have him registered, in school, attending classes and solidifying his grades so that he gets his degree.
"Larry's been around and been through enough spring practices where if he misses one, I don't think it's going to hurt him," said Krivak. "I think we have our priorities in order with Larry."
Krivak said two other starters were in similar situations, but their names were not available.
Webster, a 6-foot-5, 275-pound player from Elkton, is expected to be a candidate for All-America, and some professional football scouts have projected him as a first-round draft pick.
He started all 11 regular-season games for Maryland last year, finishing with 38 unassisted tackles, 37 assists, three sacks and two forced fumbles. His forte was stopping the run.
Webster was one of two holdover starters on a strong defensive line opposite junior defensive tackle Lubo Zizakovic.
His loss could hurt the Terps, but Maryland has capable replacements in juniors Ralph Orta, Derek Steele and sophomore Darren Drozdov, who returns after a year layoff because of back problems.
"I could have appealed, maybe won and possibly played in the spring, but I didn't want to do it that way," said Webster, a criminal-justice major. "Fifteen days of spring practice won't kill me, and I've got the whole summer to get in shape anyway.
Either way, I've still got to get my grades up to play. This is something I not only need, but want to do."