Citing abuse by fans, DeArmas decides to quit as Terps kicker

December 03, 1992|By Mike Preston | Mike Preston,Staff Writer

Maryland redshirt freshman punter and place-kicker Dave DeArmas has quit the football team because of what he says was abusive treatment from Terps fans.

DeArmas, an All-American out of DeMatha High School, averaged 34.2 yards per punt and converted 10 of 17 field-goal attempts. Three of his misses hit the uprights, and a fourth hit the crossbar.

DeArmas -- who informed coach Mark Duffner of his decision before Thanksgiving -- said yesterday he had no immediate plans to transfer, but said his scholarship allowed him to attend Maryland for the spring semester.

Also, Terps redshirt freshman reserve linebacker Mike Rodgers, from Drexel Hill, Pa., was granted a release from his scholarship by Maryland athletic director Andy Geiger, and Duffner said he has decided he doesn't want junior reserve defensive tackle Joe Bergstrom on scholarship for another year, according to several players.

"I have decided to give it up and not play anymore," said DeArmas, whose older brother, Dan, was a record-setting place-kicker for the Terps. "After this year, there were just too many things going on. I'd be the first to admit that I had a bad year, but it got to a point in the season where I hated playing at home.

"On Friday nights at the hotel before a game, I would get these prank phone calls from people telling me how bad I was," he said. "It got to the point where what was happening on the field was carrying over into my personal life. I got tired of seeing my mother coming down from the crowds crying because of the abuse I was getting."

Duffner was in Atlanta yesterday and unavailable for comment. But Geiger and DeArmas said Duffner has been meeting with DeArmas' father in hopes of getting the kicker to return.

Geiger said he had heard of Bergstrom's situation, but that he needed to talk with Duffner, and Bergstrom also was entitled to a hearing. Scholarships are renewed annually.

Rodgers did not return a phone call yesterday.

Duffner said Monday several players might be released for failing to adhere to other team policies, such as attending weight-training sessions, study hall and team meetings.

Bergstrom said: "He [Duffner] didn't say he was taking it [the scholarship] away, but he said he was thinking about it. He said I didn't have the Maryland attitude, and that I had a chip on my shoulder because I was switched from defense to offense."

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