Terps try a new costume

After '05 bar fight, players are sleeping angels for Halloween

November 02, 2006|By Heather A. Dinich | Heather A. Dinich,Sun reporter

College Park -- The bars here were scoured for football players Tuesday night, and there was a strict curfew - a crackdown to avoid a repeat of last year's Halloween brawl at the Cornerstone Grill and Loft.

Maryland coach Ralph Friedgen, who was awoken about 1:30 a.m. on Nov. 1, 2005, said 65 players were checked in their rooms Tuesday night. Friedgen said yesterday that he reminded his players "it ruined our season last year."

Nine players were involved in an altercation last fall, which police said began after a woman complained of being groped in the bar. Four players were suspended for one game, and several others faced sanctions for violating team rules, including underage drinking.

FOR THE RECORD - An article in the Sports section yesterday incorrectly stated that nine Maryland football players were involved in an altercation last fall at a College Park bar. Only three players acknowledged having been involved in the brawl, and six others who were at the bar were disciplined. THE SUN REGRETS THE ERROR.

"I said I will not tolerate it this year," Friedgen said. "Whoever is not on curfew won't be around."

Friedgen took a lighthearted approach to the subject yesterday, saying players insisted they'd be studying in the library. "I said, `Yeah right. What library?'"

His ability to joke about it was quite a change from a year ago.

"I know what it's like at Halloween around this place," he said with a chuckle. "I was out. I can't blame them for wanting to be out. I thought about going out myself last night.

"It's unbelievable," he said. "It's like Mardi Gras. I was there at 2 in the morning last year [after dealing with the Cornerstone incident] ... it was like the middle of Times Square."

Linebacker Wesley Jefferson said all the players were in bed last night. Asked earlier this season if the players had learned anything from the incident, receiver Drew Weatherly quipped, "Yeah, stay away from the bars."

Note -- The design phase of the Tyser Tower expansion project at Byrd Stadium is set to begin. The state Board of Public Works yesterday approved Heery International of Atlanta to perform architectural and engineering design services. Highlights include two five-story building additions and more seating.

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