Veteran Blair among ailing Terps Long-time publicist in Louisville hospital

Maryland notebook

October 29, 1995|By Paul McMullen | Paul McMullen,SUN STAFF

LOUISVILLE -- Maryland was without several key people for yesterday's 31-0 loss at Louisville, and not all of them were players.

Football publicist emeritus Joe F. Blair took ill on the Terps' charter flight from Baltimore-Washington International Airport Friday, and spent the last two nights at Audubon Regional Medical Center. Neurological tests on Blair may not be conducted until tomorrow, and it is unsure when Blair will return to Maryland.

"Tests couldn't be done over the weekend, so Joe will be here for a few more days," said Herb Hartnett, a Maryland spokesman. "Joe's having trouble swallowing, and is being fed intravenously. He is resting comfortably, and we want our fans to know that."

Blair, 72, was Maryland's sports information director from 1950-62, worked for the Washington Redskins from 1962-83, then returned to Maryland.

On the field, the Terps were without Joe O'Donnell, the junior kicker who has been affected by a pulled thigh muscle since the West Virginia game. O'Donnell missed badly on a 37-yard field goal try the week before against Clemson, and redshirt freshman Brad Rhodes did the kicking yesterday.

Backed by a strong wind, Rhodes was wide left from 49 yards on his first field-goal attempt as a collegian, in the first quarter. He also pulled a 26-yarder in the third quarter.

Tackle Johnnie Hicks, the Terps' top defensive lineman, missed the first quarter. He bruised a hip in the Clemson loss.

Brotherly defense

When A. J. Johnson traded punches with Louisville receiver John Bell and both were ejected in the fourth quarter, at least one

player left the Terps' bench. That was Johnnie Johnson, A. J.'s brother and a secondary reserve. Johnnie Johnson wasn't ejected, but he could come under disciplinary action after the ACC office reviews the film.

Louisville coach Ron Cooper said he saw more than Johnson coming off the Terps' bench.

"As head coach, the rule states that you have to keep your team on the sidelines," Cooper said.

Climbing the charts

Jermaine Lewis had four catches for 54 yards. He has 172 career catches, and needs 17 in the Terps' last three games to reach the Atlantic Coast Conference record of 189 set by Duke's Clarkston Hines from 1986-89.

Next for Maryland

Opponent: North Carolina State

Site: Carter Finley Stadium, Raleigh, N.C.

When: Saturday, 1 p.m.

Record: 2-5

Yesterday: Idle.

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