Season's over for Terps' Hicks

October 08, 1994|By Paul McMullen

Even though the appeals of Johnnie Hicks' academic ineligibility haven't been exhausted, the sophomore defensive tackle won't play for Maryland this season.

"It's not in the best interest of Johnnie or the team to have him back for only the last four or five games," coach Mark Duffner said. "He hasn't been able to practice, and were he to be cleared, it would take him awhile to get back into the swing of things. At this point, it's best that he takes a redshirt season."

Maryland (2-3), idle this week, will pass the midway point of the season next Saturday when it plays at No. 14 North Carolina.

On the eve of this season's opener at Duke, Hicks was ruled academically ineligible along with Tim Watson and Jason Brown, fellow sophomore defensive linemen. All three failed to acquire 75 percent of the credit hours, 18 of 24, for sophomore eligibility, as required by the NCAA.

Hicks, who as a true freshman led the Terps' down linemen in tackles with 41, claimed extenuating circumstances and appealed his ineligibility. He, Watson and Brown remain at Maryland and all have three seasons of eligibility remaining.

In their absence, the Terps shifted offensive linemen Jamie Bragg and Pat Ward to defense, and they have settled in as the starting tackles. Bragg went both ways in last week's 13-0 loss at Clemson after a sprained elbow sidelined center Erik Greenstein.

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