The University of Maryland has been given permission to speak to the University of Kansas' Glen Mason about its vacant head football coaching job, according to athletic officials at Kansas.
Kansas assistant sports information director and associate athletic director Doug Vance said last night that Maryland athletic director Andy Geiger talked with Kansas athletic director Bob Frederick last week, but doesn't know whether Geiger has contacted Mason.
It is not known whether Mason is interested in Maryland. Geiger declined to comment last night, and Mason did not return phone calls to his office. He was believed to be in Chicago interviewing for the vacant job at the University of Minnesota.
"There is really nothing more I can say, I don't know anything else," Frederick said.
Mason, 41, is at least the seventh coach known to have been contacted either directly or indirectly by Geiger since head coach Joe Krivak resigned nearly 2 1/2 weeks ago.
Holy Cross coach Mark Duffner and William & Mary coach Jimmye Laycock both were interviewed last week and Clemson defensive coordinator Ron Dickerson is expected to meet with Geiger later this week.
Three candidates -- East Carolina's Bill Lewis, Penn State's Jerry Sandusky and Bowling Green's Gary Blackney -- withdrew their names from consideration last week.
The economic situation at Maryland could make it difficult for Geiger to sign Mason. Maryland is expected to have a $5 million deficit in the athletic department, and is paying off a settlement on the final three years of Krivak's contract. Krivak made $94,000 per season.
Mason reportedly made $84,360 in base salary last season, but profits from camp, endorsements and radio-TV income put him into six figures.
Mason has one year left on a five-year contract. Frederick said he was negotiating a new, five-year rollover contract with Mason.
"I get the feeling what he wants to do is stay at Kansas," said Frederick. "The program was in desperate straits when Glen came in, and we're on the verge of something good. The important thing is to have some continuity and we hope to retain him. I think it's a good contract. We just haven't come to any conclusion."
If Mason re-signs, he would be the first coach to stay at Kansas for five consecutive years since 1966. He guided Kansas to a 6-5 record this season, the Jayhawks' first winning season in a decade. In four years, Mason is 14-29-1.