First the Feinstein column, now this? It isn't a good day in the Edsall household.
Anyway, you may recall David Mackall being suspended indefinitely a few weeks ago, with several rumors indicating he was likely to not be returning next season.
Well, it's the truth. And that's a shame, because Mackall, a former four-star, was extraordinarily talented and looked to be a growing force as a pass-rusher off the edge, with the potential to be a Merriman-lite type.
But we knew that was coming. What's really interesting is what he said about why he left. He didn't pull many punches:
"After the Florida State game, he said that we didn't have enough talent, that we didn't have enough players to compete with teams like Florida State and Clemson," Mackall said. [Ed's note: he did indeed.] "He pretty much lost me because any coach is expected to stick with their soldiers in the middle of battle. I felt like he really wasn't focused on us or the task at hand by that comment." [snip]
"It wasn't the truth at all," Mackall said [of Edsall's claim that players weren't held accountable under Friedgen]. "Under Coach Friedgen, everybody was accountable. The whole situation about academics, I've got my own thoughts of why things happened, I don't want to say too much about that. Coach Friedgen held everyone accountable for their mistakes and actions." [snip]
Mackall would not say whether any other players were going to leave, but added, "I know the program as a whole, many of the players weren't too happy, it wasn't really the family vibe that we had a year ago."
I've never seen a program disintegrate quite as quickly as Maryland football has done in the past several weeks. (For the Edsall adherents, that doesn't mean he can't rebuild it, but it's pretty tough to deny it's been a rough few days.)
For full disclosure, the very final sentence of the report notes that Mackall's former high school coach says that Mackall was "not happy" anyway, so Edsall obviously isn't the only factor here, but he certainly seems a primary one.
For what it's worth, I'm not upset that there are some departures. There always are some when coaches change. I am, however, upset that there are so many, and upset that they're leaving for the reasons they are. (Or, at least, that this one is.)
Let's see if things get worse. Losing a bunch of transfers, given Maryland's already-present lack of depth, would be very painful. Hopefully the team remains intact.