Penn State defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky has been contacted by Maryland athletic director Andy Geiger about filling the Terrapins' vacant head football coaching position.
Sandusky, 47, said he talked with Geiger last week, but has not decided whether he wants to be interviewed by Geiger or Maryland's nine-member selection committee, which was announced yesterday.
"I've spoken with Maryland, but I'm not sure what I'm going to do because of my terms here with Penn State," said Sandusky. "I think the Maryland job is a good job because of its location and tradition.
"But I've spent half of my life here, and I've got a lot of ties with Penn State. I guess I have to make a decision soon if I'm going to be interviewed."
Meanwhile, in a Peach Bowl news conference yesterday in Atlanta, East Carolina's Bill Lewis, whom Maryland also was believed to be interested in, said he had withdrawn his name from consideration.
Lewis, in his third season at East Carolina -- which will play North Carolina State in the Peach Bowl -- said he wanted to put rumors to rest that he might be leaving the Pirates' football program after a record-setting 10-1 regular season.
"What I asked them [Maryland officials] to do, and I hope we can put this to rest, is that I asked them to remove my name from any consideration for the head coaching position at the University of Maryland," Lewis said.
"I did not feel the timing was right," he said. "I want to be able to now focus on . . . the bowl game and North Carolina State. I did not want any distractions for our football team and our coaching staff. Also, I feel it's extremely important to our recruiting efforts, that the young people we are recruiting . . . know our intentions are to stay with this program and continue to move forward."
Geiger would not comment on Sandusky or Lewis yesterday. Penn State coach Joe Paterno was not available for comment.
Sandusky has been at Penn State since 1969, when he started as a linebackers coach.
Eight of Sandusky's linebackers were first-team All-America selections. The list consists of Jack Ham (1970), Charlie Zapiec (1971), John Skorupan (1972), Ed O'Neil (1973), Greg Buttle (1975), Kurt Alexander (1976), Shane Conlan (1985-86) and Andre Collins (1989).
Sandusky is the author of "Developing Linebackers: The Penn State Way." Before joining the Penn State staff, Sandusky served as an assistant football, basketball and track coach at Juniata College in 1967 and as an offensive line coach at Boston University in 1968.
Sandusky was a three-year let ter-winner at Penn State, starting at defensive end during the 1964 and 1965 seasons.
Sandusky is the second candidate known to be contacted by Geiger. The other is Holy Cross head coach Mark Duffner, 38, whose athletic director, Ronald Perry, spoke with Geiger last Tuesday.
Duffner has a 60-5-1 record in six seasons at Holy Cross, and he also is considered a defensive specialist.
Other candidates in whom Maryland might be interested include William & Mary's Jimmye Laycock and Villanova's Andy Talley.
Talley said yesterday that he had not been contacted.
Meanwhile, Geiger yesterday announced his search committee will be chaired by Charles Wellford, professor and director of the Institute of Justice and Criminology.
According to Geiger, the selection committee will be used basically for screening and interviewing applicants that he has selected.
"They will do reference checking and interviewing, and can supply some candidates if they wish," Geiger said. "Ultimately, I have the responsibility in making the final selection."
Maryland's 9-member search committee:
* Charles Wellford: Professor and director of the Institute of Justice and Criminology; member of the Athletic Council, a body that advises athletic director Andy Geiger.
* Cordell W. Black: Assistant vice president of academic affairs and Athletic Council member.
* Jack Bradford: 4-time football letter-winner who once served on the Athletic Council.
* Linda Clement: Director of undergraduate admissions.
* Ray Gillian: Assistant to the university president and Athletics Council member.
* Ralph Lary: Incoming president of M-Club and 4-time football letter-winner.
* Andrew Mothershead: President of Terrapin Club.
* Don Piper: Professor and director of graduate studies government and politics, and Athletics Council member.
* Betty Smith: Athletics faculty representative and professor of textiles and consumer economics.