Maryland Coach Randy Edsall spent the majority of his bye week recruiting and working in College Park, but last Friday night he ventured to Syracuse, N.Y., home of his alma mater, to watch his wife, Eileen, receive an honor from the school.
Except he couldn’t stay for Orange’s football game on Saturday, a 13-0 shutout of Wake Forest. NCAA rules prohibit live scouting by coaches, and because the Terrapins (5-3, 1-3 ACC) host Syracuse at Byrd Stadium this weekend, Edsall was barred from even watching warmups. The Orange annually honors its Letterwinners of Distinction at halftime of a football game, but because of this year’s unique circumstances, the ceremony was moved to well before kickoff.
“That’s why I’m very appreciative,” Edsall said. “They allowed me to at least even be there, they moved it up to before the game. … I was a good boy, did exactly what I was told to do.”
Eileen Edsall lettered in both women’s basketball and volleyball for four years at Syracuse, serving as a co-captain for three seasons across the two sports. It was there that she met a young quarterback named Randy Edsall. “She got the better end of that deal,” Edsall said Tuesday.
According to Syracuse.com, the NCAA approved a waiver allowing Edsall onto the field for a pregame ceremony, because even that was banned by the organization’s bylaws. Working in communication with Maryland Athletic Director Kevin Anderson, Syracuse secured the waiver and switched the event’s timing.
“And I understood why and everything else, so there was no hard feelings or anything else,” Edsall said. “I’m just glad I had the opportunity to be there for my wife and for the accomplishments she had. There’s not too many people that letter four years in two sports at a Division I school, which she did.”
The annual banquet dinner was held Friday, so Edsall, Eileen, son Corey and daughter Alexi spent the night before marching into the Carrier Dome, receiving some applause and quickly leaving. There, Edsall caught up with former teammates Art Monk, a 1980 Syracuse alumnus and legendary Washington Redskins wide receiver, and linebacker Craig Bingham, who later played in the NFL for the Pittsburgh Steelers and San Diego Chargers.
Edsall spent 15 years at Syracuse – four playing and 11 coaching – and credited the school for supporting his professional start. As the head coach at Connecticut, Edsall faced the Orange seven times, posting a 5-2 record with both losses coming on the road. This weekend, the Terps again try to attain bowl eligibility, something they haven’t done since Edsall arrived in College Park before the 2011 season.
“It’s always a place that will have a special place for me, and all the friends I have from there, teammates and other people,” Edsall said. “The good thing is I think I’ve played them seven times and been an assistant when we played there. You just worry about what you got to control in terms of getting ready to play the game this week.”