Skies clear after storm over Cottle

Coach's relief grows at Terps' response


September 29, 2001|By Gary Lambrecht | Gary Lambrecht,SUN STAFF

COLLEGE PARK - The exercise in rebellion appears to have passed quietly among the men's lacrosse players at the University of Maryland.

Former Loyola coach Dave Cottle, whose hiring on Wednesday sparked an outcry from a team that felt its voice was not heard by the administration that brought Cottle on board, said yesterday he expects a full turnout on Monday night for the first fall practice under his watch.

Initially, Cottle met stiff resistance from his 45-man team, which had urged the school's search committee not to hire him and instead select Terps women's lacrosse assistant Gary Gait or longtime men's assistant Dave Slafkosky. The players had vowed not to play for Cottle.

By late yesterday, which began with the entire team showing up for a weightlifting session, Cottle had completed one-on-one meetings with the players and said they're ready to work with him.

"[Yesterday] was the best day since I've been at the University of Maryland," said Cottle, who does not rule out the possibility of some players transferring.

"The kids are working through some things, but everybody showed up and worked hard [in the weight room], and everybody [who did not show up on Thursday] came to the meetings. It's been a long week, but life is good. I've lost 20 pounds. I can't wait to take the field on Monday."

The players released an unsigned statement on Thursday criticizing the administration for what they felt was a disregard for their input during the selection process. Athletic director Debbie Yow allowed an eight-player committee to participate by interviewing candidates and making a recommendation.

One player who asked not to be identified said he thinks every player plans to practice on Monday.

"Everyone is being reasonable. They're doing good. I think the team just needed to get something off their chest," the player said. "I haven't even thought about transferring. That's what a lot of people are supporting."

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