Maryland Coach Joe Krivak's vision of entering the 1990 season with a veteran-dominated squad remains intact -- almost. With one exception, a sizable list of players retained their eligibility with the release of summer school grades.

However, at the first of his weekly news conferences, the coach said a player already thought to be eligible was "two-one thousandths" of a point short of the necessary grade-point average.

Krivak would not release the names of either player, saying that one of the athletes -- a current starter on offense -- wasn't going to be notified until today.

"We had been told one thing and when we got the grades we thought we were okay, but then we were called back and told there had been a mistake made," said Krivak.

Krivak added that the coaching staff has filed an appeal with the university and expects to get the results before the end of the week. According to school officials, the team went through a similar situation with running back Ricky Johnson before the start of last season.

Johnson played in all 11 contests last season and finished the year as Maryland's second-leading rusher.

Acccording to Krivak, the player who didn't pass muster during summer school also played on offense. While that player wasn't projected as a starter, "he was someone who would have helped us down the line," Krivak said.

The list of players who will be eligible to line up for Saturday's season opener against Virginia Tech at Byrd Stadium include starting defensive tackle Larry Webster and linebacker Karl Edwards, who faced the daunting task of registering a 3.5 GPA over six courses in order to play his final season.

"I do well under pressure," Edwards joked. "Really {the situation} was all my fault; it was a case of senioritis and me thinking of other things instead of what I was supposed to be doing."

Despite the eligibility questions, which Krivak called "a pressing problem," the coach was typically upbeat throughout the conference. But he did admit that whether he'll maintain the sunny countenance over the course of 11 games remains to be seen.

Yesterday though, Krivak was able to joke about an inexperienced offense that he promises will "be exciting and move the ball -- my only concern is whether or not it'll be forward or backwards."

To a great extent, that will depend on quarterback Scott Zolak, a fifth-year senior who will be making his first collegiate start against the Hokies.

"If there's a guy that I would love to see succeed it's someone like Scott Zolak," Krivak said. "He's waited so long that your heart just wants to see him light up the sky. Now he has the chance, he just has to do it."