The Washington Redskins are considering George Mason University in Fairfax as a site for training camps after the 1978 season.
The Redskins have one year remaining on their contract with Dickinson College in Carlisle, Pa., and will honor that agreement, according to business manager Joel Margolis.
But head coach Jack Pardee said yesterday, "I would prefer being closer to home, closer to Redskin Park. In Chicago we were only two blocks away from our regular season site, and it worked out well."
Pardee also indicated that George Mason would be the most convenient place if it could be worked out.
"We're exploring several possibilities within a radius of 40 to 50 miles.
"To tell you the truth, I'd rather be at Redskin Park, but we don't have the facilities to house and feed the numbers we're talking about."
Margolis spent two hours confering with George Mason Athletic Director Hap Spuhler yesterday and was given a tour of the school's facilities. "I'm looking at it for the future." Margolis said, "and we're also checking into other facilities - Mount St. Mary's (in Emmitsburg, Md.); the Naval Academy; the University of Virginia and Madison College (in Harrisonburg, Va.)
There's a possibility we may stay in Carlisle. We're just getting the information for Jack. There's no imminent move or anything like that."
Although primarily a commuter school, George Mason has nine on-campus dormitories and room for 500 people. The Redskins would need space for 90 players and 30 staff members.
Spuhler said, "We've got everything they need. We've got a large student union with plenty of meeting rooms and good dining facilities. We've got two fields they could use - one we spent $25,000 to fix with new grass and a sprinkler system.
"They also liked the idea that we're close to some large high-school stadiums. If they wanted to have a scrimmage, they would have a lot of room to put people. The only thing we'd have to do is upgrade the locker room facilities to meet their needs. But that would be no problem.
"Sure we're interested, but there's been no commitment. They've told us they're thinking about a move. We've very excited about it.
The Redskins have been training at Carlisle for 15 years, and the school's business manager Barry Gaal, said, "We would be disappointed if they decided not to come back after the contract runs out."
In addition to spending $125,000 for feeding and housing the players and staff the Redskins also have contributed financially to improvements in the Dickinson athletic plant upgrading the training troom and fields.
Pardee was asked yesterday if he thought it might be a problem at George Mason to have his players so close to the Washington temptations of a mere 30-minute drive away.
"Nah, No, he said, "We'd be keeping them busy and they wouldn't have much time for it. If they did have them driving a shorter distance to wherever it is they'd go. That makes more sense."