The Washington Post

Randy Edsall on Danny O’Brien and Vanderbilt

The Post has pretty extensively covered the fact that Danny O’Brien, Max Garcia and LB Mario Rowson — who all are leaving the Maryland football program — would not be cleared to transfer to Vanderbilt. Eric Prisbell broke it down in a blog post on Terrapins Insider, like so:

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. With Edsall including that specific stipulation, the insinuation is that something untoward may have occurred.

Untoward or not, fans and national media members bristled at the news. Because, as Paul Myerberg wrote this week, Edsall himself was not fully committed to his previous job, once an opportunity came open at his “dream” school. If a grown man can go wherever he wants, with great compensation, during a career spanning decades, it seems perhaps a bit petty to keep a kid who’s playing for free from enjoying the same privilege.

In any case, Comcast SportsNet’s Chick Hernandez put Edsall on the spot on this issue during a one-on-one interview this week, asking directly whether Vanderbilt was on the no-go list.

“We had stipulations in there, the same schools for all three of them,” Edsall replied. “And so neither of the three were treated any differently than the other guys. And again, I’m not gonna get into the names or anything like that [of] the schools that we put on there, because as we talked to the players, it was a situation where we said that we would keep that amongst ourselves.

“But usually what’ll end up happening is there’s gonna be schools on there that you might compete against, or if there’s things that you feel might have taken place, you might put schools on that list. So we have that prerogative, to put those schools on the list. The players have the prerogative that if they want to appeal that, that they can appeal that as well.”

In other words, we’re allowed to do what we wanted, so we did what we wanted.

“But you understand that folks who are fans of Danny O’Brien look at that and go, ‘Well, why not let the kid succeed, if he wanted to go?’ ” Hernandez followed up. “He hasn’t said he wanted to go to Vanderbilt or not, but why not let the kid go someplace that you’re not gonna play against?”

“Well again, I think there’s always a feeling that ‘Hey, we have the right to do what we need to do, and the player has the right to do what he needs to do, in terms of the appeal process,’ ” Edsall said. “And you know, that’s how it goes.”

Building men, shaping character, teaching life lessons, having the right to do what we need to do. College sports, everyone.

Dan Steinberg writes about all things D.C. sports at the D.C. Sports Bog.


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