Tuesday, February 14, 2012

#Freedannyobrien Update

The Washington Post's Eric Prisbell has a new blog post on Generalissimo Edsall's release of Danny O'Brien, Offensive Lineman Max Garcia, and Linebacker Mario Rowson from Maryland so long as they don't transfer to Vanderbilt. Prisbell provides some context: "Make no mistake, it is common for a coach to stipulate that players can’t transfer to schools that are on the schedule in the near future . . . But one longtime college administrator told me it is uncommon for a coach to prohibit players from transferring to a school that his school will not play, which is the case with Vanderbilt and Maryland." The post goes on to speculate: "With Edsall including that specific stipulation, the insinuation is that something untoward may have occurred, and it raises the question of whether premature contact may have occurred between Vanderbilt and some of the Maryland players."

Here's what Seamus wrote in response to a previous post on this subject:
Although I can't claim any inside knowledge, I have a hard time believing CJF would be stupid enough to have contacted O'Brien or these two other kids before a release was authorized. What I would find more plausible is that O'Brien may have reached out to CJF or one of the assistants on his own accord. But in that case, I think CJF is under an obligation to report the communication to the NCAA. Someone correct me if I have the rules wrong.

The bottom line for me is this: I'm not going to assume there was a violation without something more than innuendo. And if Edsall and other folks at Maryland are making this insinuation (or at least not attempting to refute it) as a pretext for what is in fact just a sinister kind of hostage-holding, as O'Shea's post suggests it is, then that just adds more ammo to the attack on Edsall's character.
I think my man has it exactly right. The only evidence that something untoward happened with Franklin is how unprecedented and vindictive Edsall's actions are. The conclusion we are forced to draw is either Vanderbilt's staff did something patently illegal under the NCAA's rules, or Edsall is a malicious and spiteful man who . . . you get it. I'm going with option B.

According to a source close to O’Brien, the now former Terrapin QB might consider appealing the stipulation to the NCAA. I hope he does. This situation with Danny and Todd O'Brien (as well as the other Maryland players who's options are being held hostage by Edsall) is a black eye for the NCAA and its member institutions that require corrective action. The purported concern for student-athletes you often hear isn't readily apparent on this one.

In case Edsall wants to see what the high-road looks like, he should read Danny O'Brien's letter announcing he is leaving the Terrapin program:
After careful thought, contemplation, prayer, and consultation with my family, we have come to a consensus that it is in my best interest to continue my educational and athletic endeavors elsewhere.

This was a very difficult decision, one which I did not take lightly. I will forever cherish the friendships of teammates, academic and athletic support staff, fellow students, professors, and of course Terp fans.

Playing at Byrd Stadium and experiencing college life in College Park will remain as unforgettable experiences for the rest of my life. I certainly wish nothing but the best to the team next season and for years to come.

I look forward to completing one of my established goals of graduating from the University of Maryland this spring and becoming a proud alumnus of this great institution.
Danny O’Brien

Your move, Randy.

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