Maryland hurdler Renaldo (Skeets) Nehemiah said yesterday he has no intention of leaving the university despite the resignation of the school's track coach, Frank Costello, after the Olympic trials in June.
On a day when Maryland Athletic Director Carl James described as "ludicrous" Costello's main reason for leaving, Nehemiah said, "I'm going to be a senior next year, so it's really irrelevant to me.
"If Coach Costello is still here part-time, that would be fine. If not, I've only got one more year here, anyway, and I'd like to get my degree."
Nehemiah currently is recuperating from torn ligaments in his left ankle and said he hopes to be completing again in another month. "Right now, I'm being very self-centered," he said, "I don't care about anything around me. All I want to do is get back healthy. I'm bored."
James, meanwhile, was rather unhappy with Costello, who said Wednesday the major reason he was resigning involved Title 9 regulations. He claimed the rules eventually would drain money from his track program to be spent on women's athletics. Title 9 is a Federal law barring sex discrimination in school sports programs.
"That simply isn't a valid reason for his leaving," James said yesterday. "I'm deeply, disappointed that Frank has made this decision. He is a super person and he has done a super job. But for him to use Title 9 as the reason for his leaving is ludicrous.
"I think he made an emotional decision. I'm going to sit down with him Tuesday and talk to him about it."
Costello said yesterday that he assumed his meeting with James Tuesday would be to discuss his successor and what role -- if any -- Costello will fill at Maryland in the future.
"I'd like to remain on in some kind of part-time role if it's possible," Costello said. "But as far as I'm concerned, my decision is final.It has been since December."
Costello said he wrote his letter of resignation to James Dec. 19 and the only reason he made the announcement now was because rumors of his departure had begun to surface.
"I wanted my team to hear it from me," he said. "I called a team meeting and told them I was leaving. Once I had done that, I had to announce it publicly."
James said he could not understand why Costello would use Title 9 as a reason for his leaving. "Title 9 has not affected Frank Costello in any way nor would it do so next year," James said. "Maybe three years from now something might happen, but who knows? Money is tight with all our programs.
"We're not indifferent to Frank's problems. All our coaches have budgetary problems. Right now, I don't want to get into a debate in the newspaper about what Maryland has or has not done for Frank Costello."
Costello, who said he had "an excellent personal relationship" with James since he became athletic director in August 1978, reiterated his position on Title 9 yesterday.
"I've been spoiled here, I guess," he said. "I'm going to be 36 in June.
I figure I have 25 more years to work and I just don't see Maryland track in the future being what it has been in the past. I can't handle that. I thought about getting out last year but I didn't have the kind of business opportunity I have now."
Costello also added that he was disturbed by some of the reaction to his resignation.
"Some people around here seem to think you're an indentured servant, working and living only for the University of Maryland," he said. "It bothers me when people act like I'm a quitter or something because I want to do something else with my life."
Chris Weller, the women's basketball coach who has the highest budget among the women's coaches at Maryland, said yesterday it disappoints her to hear Title 9 being used as a reason for budgetary problems.
"Everyone, everywhere is being asked to moderate because of the economy," she said. "We have to moderate at the grocery store. Even the men's basketball team has been affected by the economy.
"I hate to see Title 9 used as an excuse for these problems. We're constantly tightening our belts, trying to get teams to travel together, scheduling events all at once.
"I just don't see any reason why one half of the population should be denied something so the other half of the population can enjoy it."
Other Maryland coaches, including Bud Beardmore, the lacrosse coach whose budget is third in the athletic department expense list behind football and basketball, said they were not concerned about Title 9's effect on their futures.
"I think my program has complete support from the school, the athletic department and Carl James," Beardmore said. "I don't see why Title 9 should affect it."