Terps are likely to bid farewell to stadium, too

Bill Tanton

October 24, 1991|By Bill Tanton

Take a good look when Maryland plays Penn State at Memorial Stadium on Nov. 9.

After that game, which is a sellout, we probably won't see the Terps in Baltimore again for a long time.

Normally, Maryland would be playing either Clemson or Georgia Tech here in '92, but Terp athletic director Andy Geiger says:

"I don't think we'll be playing in Baltimore next year. With Memorial Stadium shut down for baseball, I'm concerned about what kind of condition the place would be in for one college football game. Not just the field, but the dressing rooms, the restrooms. Everything.

"My understanding is that Baltimore's budget for the stadium will be more for security than for maintenance. I can't bring our football program into a stadium unless it's in good condition."

Geiger was asked what his feeling would be if Baltimore gets a new football stadium -- though the city won't get one unless it is awarded an NFL franchise.

"We're putting $13 million into improving Byrd Stadium on our own campus," Geiger says. "We're also spending a lot of time and effort trying to develop sponsors in the College Park area. What sense would it make to do all that and then move 20 percent of your home schedule to Baltimore?"

Geiger is aware of the feeling of some in Baltimore that the city is snubbed by the university.

"This is not an anti-Baltimore thing we're doing at all," he says. "I can't apologize for where they put the university [9 miles from Washington] 100 years ago."

As for resuming the Navy-Maryland series that was ended by Navy after 1965, Geiger says:

"I had a meeting last week with Jack Lengyel [Navy's AD]. We had a nice talk. We still don't have a game."

* In a season when Maryland's football team is all but decimated by injuries, people ask Terp coach Joe Krivak why he keeps co-captain and center Mitch Suplee in the game all the time. Suplee has been playing every snap. Answers Krivak: "We keep Mitch in there because we haven't had an opportunity to get him out. Every series has been crucial. That's the kind of season we're having."

* Recently retired Baltimore businessman Jack Fetting, a lifelong baseball lover who played at Loyola College and in the amateur ranks, says children are not the only ones missing late-ending World Series games. So is the geriatric set, he says.

"This is the least watched World Series of my lifetime," Fetting says.

The oldsters as well as the youngsters are sleeping through the Twins-Braves action. With games ending at midnight or later, today's kids will grow up with no World Series memories.

Those of us who slipped out of schools or offices to steal a peak at day games have indelible Series memories. The present system may generate more dollars, but somewhere down the line baseball will pay a price for it.

* Followers of golfer Fred Funk, formerly of the University of Maryland, now of the PGA tour, can play a hole with him at Hunt Valley Nov. 4 by participating in the second annual Children's Favorite Things tournament.

The charity provides holiday gifts for needy children. Last year, it gave gifts to 1,100 kids. Paul Blair, Dave Johnson and Bob Ferry are taking part. Call Phil Bundy at 771-8283.

* I hope none of our cherished Orioles, present or ex, get to manage in New York. The town is too tough. Not only did the Mets and Yankees both fire their managers this year; the Mets have fired two in less than two years. The Giants' former coach Bill Parcells couldn't take the heat and he won two Super Bowls.

* Good news department: the folks in Chestertown have raised $41,000 to erect a statue on the town square of one of Maryland's great contributions to baseball -- Bill Nicholson. Swish, as Nicholson is known, hit 235 home runs for the Cubs and Phillies from 1939-1953. He'll be honored at a testimonial dinner Nov. 9.

* The many triathletes from this area who were afraid they had lost their chance to compete when the Bud Light Triathlon series left Baltimore are relieved. After seven years here, the event -- next June 14 -- will be held in Delaware, only an hour from here. I hope Delawarians are understanding. Baltimore County residents found the triathlon a disruption to their Sunday routines.

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