Maryland athletic director Kevin Anderson talked about several other issues at Monday's news conference:
• He said he did not plan to honor Franklin's coach-in-waiting contract. "I wanted to have a national search," he said. "James would have have been a candidate. I told him I would not automatically give him the job."
While Anderson hedged on the "business decision" comment by explaining that the primary business of the department was developing student athletes, finances -- or lack thereof -- clearly played a heavy role in the decision. But Anderson said he was not looking for a quick solution by making a coaching change. "We're all concerned with that," he said. "But the thing is, I'm looking long term. And if we do the right thing long term we're going to have support."
As of now, Anderson said Friedgen's entire staff will remain with the team through the bowl game (besides Franklin.) He pledged to urge the new coach to strongly consider retaining the current assistants, but could not guarantee them spots. Several of them are expected to join Franklin's staff, but they spent the weekend in College Park hosting recruits.
Kevin Plank, the former Maryland football player who founded Under Armour, is somebody Anderson turns to for advice, he admitted. But he refuted any notion that Plank would have special influence on the hiring process. Leach has long been connected with the Maryland job because of his relationship with Plank; Texas Tech wore Under Armour gear.
Anderson spoke to the recruits who were on campus, and also fielded phone calls from others as news of Friedgen's ouster broke. "I asked them to trust me that I would bring in the best coach for them," he said.
Anderson said he reached out to the Terps leadership council — a group of team leaders — via telephone (most had already left campus) and that they support his vision for the program. Right now, they're hurting for their coach. "I appreciate how they feel," he said. "They understand and they want to move forward." They told him their ultimate goal is to determine their own bowl destiny next year and not leave it to a bowl committee. That means, basically, winning the ACC and going to a BCS bowl.
According to a news release, no state funds will be used to buy Friedgen's contract out.
From the news release: "The monies necessary to fulfill Friedgen and the current coaching staff's contracts will be paid entirely by the Department of Athletics, a self-support unit of the University that receives no public funding and must generate all of its revenue."