I was watching Around the Horn yesterday and Kevin Blackistone, who is the current UMD Shirley Povich Chair in Sports Journalism, used his “Facetime” to blast the university for letting Friedgen name UMD offensive coordinate James Franklin his successor. He had a good point, namely that Friedgen had never won a National Championship, and that it’s a bit ridiculous that he would have this level of authority. Is Gary Williams going to be allowed to name his successor? Will Brenda Frese get the same courtesy? Maryland is setting a dangerous precedent here.
Until yesterday I had no idea that Friedgen is 61 years old. The average lifespan of an American man is currently 73 years old. According to this study, obesity cuts an average of 6 years off the life of a non-smoking man. It’s a morbid thought, but do the math and Ralph has about six years left, which brings him to 2015. His contract lasts until 2012. I do not think that this is the end of Friedgen’s career, but rather a continuity of operations plan. I think this move is a precaution and a counter-argument to the other ACC coaches that recruit against Friedgen by citing his health and its impact on the future health of the program. Now, Maryland can tell top offensive recruits not to worry, because no matter what happens to Ralph, James Franklin will still be in-place and they won’t lose their spot.
I also had no idea that Blackistone is a Hyattsville, MD native and a UMD School of Journalism grad. You learn something new every day watching ARRRRRROUND the HORRRRRRRRRRN! Blackistone better raise his game on ATR. He currently only has 93 wins, while Woody Paige leads with 270 and Jay Mariotti has 265. Come on Blackistone!