PINEHURST, N.C., AUG. 3 -- Joe Krivak is about to start his first season as a collegiate head football coach. He wants a fresh, clean start, and as for any of the problems that have engulfed Maryland over the last 13 months, he said today he will try to let them flow right by him.

"I'm not going to deal with it, because it's something I can't do anything about," Krivak said at a gathering of Atlantic Coast Conference coaches and media.

"As I told the Terrapin Club people the other day at a function, I'm tired of apologizing for the University of Maryland. I don't think we have anything to apologize for. We have a great institution, we have a great school, we have a great football program, great athletic program and we have new leadership there. I'm the new kid on the block, the unknown quantity. I realize that and understand that.

"There are certain things I can't control, and things I can't control I'm not going to worry about."

There are four new football coaches at ACC schools. Krivak's predecessor and former boss, Bobby Ross, is now at Georgia Tech. Steve Spurrier begins his first season as a college head coach at Duke and Bill Dooley takes over at Wake Forest after being forced from his job at Virginia Tech.

The cover of the Georgia Tech media guide is simply a large picture of Ross, smiling like a little boy on Christmas morning.

After saying how glad he was to still be coaching in the ACC, Ross jokingly said, "I have one beef. My picture on the brochure is too small. I wanted it bigger."

Slightly more seriously, though still with a chuckle, Ross added, "And I promise I won't chase any officials. That's over with and behind me."

Ross was suspended from the field for one game last season after he chased a couple of referees after a close loss, grabbing one by the shoulder. Ross has said it was only to get the referee's attention.

North Carolina Coach Dick Crum was asked to comment on recently published excerpts from the book of former Tar Heel Lawrence Taylor, the New York Giants' all-pro linebacker who criticized North Carolina and the NCAA.

Crum said Taylor had some "good points" in regard to players having to spend so much time with football and having little in the way of spending money. But Crum added, "Lawrence has an image to maintain in the NFL and he may have had that in mind when he wrote the book."

Clemson Coach Danny Ford, whose team has been picked No. 1 in some preseason polls, said with a straight face, "Our biggest fear is playing Western Carolina."

The Tigers open at home on Sept. 5 at Clemson with those always tough Catamounts (6-5 last season).