It's a date: Maryland-Navy football in 2010

Mids put snub behind for opener in Baltimore

October 25, 2007|By Heather A. Dinich | Heather A. Dinich,Sun Reporter

COLLEGE PARK -- After a little miscommunication and months of stop-and-start negotiations, Maryland and Navy have agreed to open the 2010 season Sept. 4 at M&T Bank Stadium.

The snags started this summer, when Navy athletic director Chet Gladchuk said the Midshipmen felt snubbed by Maryland's preference to play in the more prestigious Champs Sports Bowl in Orlando, Fla., last season than against Navy in the Meineke Car Care Bowl in Charlotte, N.C.

Earlier this month, the programs reached an impasse because the Terps faced a time crunch to schedule a nonconference opponent and miscommunication led to a delay that forced Maryland athletic director Debbie Yow to reopen the search.

One day later, the two officials agreed to reconsider scheduling the game after Yow called Gladchuk on Oct. 3 to sort things out.

"I think we got past the Charlotte situation," Yow said. "Chet was terrific this last month in terms of talking with him about the future, and we didn't discuss anything more about his disappointment in our not playing the Charlotte game. I just really appreciate the fact we got past that. ... We were able to focus on 2010."

Gladchuk said playing Maryland was "inevitable" and that "it boiled down to some logistics that had to be ironed out.

"The Charlotte thing was bothersome to us, but it was never going to preclude us from playing the game," Gladchuk said. "It was a matter of working out the logistics. I never said we wouldn't play. Ever."

Both schools are expected to receive $1.4 million from the game, as long as attendance reaches 60,000, Yow said.

"I would say that that's a given, because these will be sold with our season-ticket packages," she said.

When the programs last met in 2005 - a 23-20 win for the Terps - the announced attendance was 67,809 and each school earned more than $1 million.

As for extending the series, Gladchuk said he offered a home-and-home series in 2010 and 2014 but Yow "decided she didn't want to go into the 2014 play."

Yow said 2014 wasn't discussed seriously during the negotiations.

"I wanted to go ahead and get this one done," Yow said. "We can certainly go back and talk about 2014 whenever Chet is ready to do that."

Both ADs pointed to the complexity of scheduling the game because it requires three contracts - one between Maryland and Navy and a contract between each school and the Ravens - as another factor in the delay. Ticket prices also can be a sticking point.

"It's just a laborious process because there are so many elements to cover when it's not on your campus or their campus," Yow said. " ... We just wanted to make sure every i was dotted and every t was crossed."

Maryland coach Ralph Friedgen repeatedly has said the game would be good for the program.

"I would like to see it as an annual game," Friedgen said, "but that's not for me to decide."

Note -- Maryland quarterback Jordan Steffy has been cleared for everything but contact at practice but still has not been cleared to play Saturday against Clemson.

heather.dinich@baltsun.com

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