Washington decisions: 1 in, 1 out Terps RB is back, WR barred for good

September 04, 1992|By Don Markus and Mike Preston | Don Markus and Mike Preston,Staff Writers

COLLEGE PARK -- University of Maryland sophomore running back Larry Washington of Randallstown was reinstated yesterday, but freshman receiver Kevin Washington of Baltimore has been "permanently suspended," coach Mark Duffner announced.

Duffner, who suspended the players indefinitely Aug. 15, said Larry Washington must serve a two-game suspension. He will not travel to tomorrow night's season opener at Virginia, but will begin practicing next week and is expected to be in uniform for the team's third game Sept. 19 at West Virginia.

The players, who are not related, were suspended by the first-year coach the day after Kevin Washington was arrested and charged with stealing personal checks from one roommate and credit cards from another. Larry Washington admitted to using the credit cards.

Kevin Washington, the first Dunbar High School football player to receive a scholarship from Maryland, is facing three counts of felony forgery and nine counts of misdemeanor theft. His trial is scheduled for Oct. 23 in Prince George's County District Court.

In a plea arrangement Monday, Larry Washington admitted to one charge of felony forgery of a credit card. He was placed on one year's unsupervised probation, required to pay back $652.14, serve 40 hours of community service and agree to testify if Kevin Washington goes on trial.

Larry Washington's reinstatement followed two 90-minute conversations with Duffner, the first by telephone Tuesday and the second in person Wednesday. As part of the terms of his reinstatement, Washington also apologized to his teammates yesterday before practice.

Said Duffner: "After long thought and discussion, and review of all the data necessary, it was the best decision for the individual and for our football team. We're in the education business and the young man has learned quite a bit from this incident and all the things that happened in the three weeks since he's been disassociated from this football team.

"He certainly has some things to pay back, or to pay forward, his commitment to this football team. Should he do the right things, the educational and learning process could be a tremendous benefit in his lifetime."

"I'm glad it is over and I can get back to playing football," said Larry Washington. "I have been working out a little bit and I think I could be in condition to play soon. I just went in to the team and apologized. They all rooted for me, shook my hand, gave me hugs and said they were glad I was back. It was a very emotional situation."

Duffner said he had met with Kevin Washington to inform him of his decision.

"He's aware of that situation," Duffner said.

Kevin Washington could not be reached for comment last night.

Pete Pompey, the football and basketball coach at Dunbar, wasn't pleased with the outcome. "It seems to me to be a double standard," he said. "Why did they make a judgment on one kid and not the other when they both broke team rules? It really disgusts me. I think it's based on need."

Maryland athletic director Andy Geiger said last night that Kevin Washington will keep his scholarship for the year and can attend the university if he desires.

In another development, Duffner announced that tailback Kameron Williams would miss the 1992 season because of osteitis pubis, a condition that affects the pubic bone. The condition first surfaced during off-season workouts and was aggravated recently. Williams, a transfer from the University of Cincinnati, had been the team's No. 2 tailback behind Mark Mason.

As a result of Williams' injury, Larry Washington's suspension might have been reduced. Larry Washington said Duffner told him Wednesday the suspension would be two to three games.

Duffner said he wasn't concerned with the progress Larry Washington makes on the field. The most celebrated high school player to come out of the Baltimore area in several years, Washington gained 195 yards on 51 carries as a freshman. He was held out of spring practice earlier this year for academic reasons.

"We'll just have to see," Duffner said of Washington's role on this year's team. "I'm more anxious to see him improve and take control of the situation as a person. That's my No. 1 goal. That's his No. 1 goal. He's had a lot of time to think about it the last three weeks. He now has a chance to put it into action."

Larry Washington said he had no idea Kevin Washington had been permanently suspended.

"I think the coach may have done that because he was the main one involved, and charged very early," said Larry Washington. "I wasn't charged until later, and maybe the coach didn't want to wait until his court date.

"I haven't talked to Kevin since the incident [Kevin's arrest]. We were very close friends then, but if I've got to testify against him, I will because I'm just telling the truth. It's not like I'm ratting on him or something. I hope everything works out for him."

NOTE: Williams' injury also forced the Terps to move sophomore Raphael Wall of Columbia (Wilde Lake) back from defense to offensive backfield. Wall had been switched to safety from halfback in the preseason to shore up a depleted defensive backfield. Asked if Wall could be used on defense and offense, Duffner said, "He might play in the band before it's over."

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