Ralph Friedgen Does Not Care For Your Maryland Pride, or His Alma Mater Anymore [Update: "Burned [His] Diploma"]

I don't listen to WNST, not because I have anything against them; I just don't live in Baltimore. (I've never heard it; I have no idea if it's worthy of listening to, even.) I say that to establish that I don't know the context of this quote, what question was asked, or anything else. But I'm having a tough time of thinking of a situation in which it doesn't come across as ... unfortunate.

#Friedgen making @WNST headlines "They didn't show me any #Maryland pride. I'm flying the #Georgia_Tech flag now." @GlennClarkWNST
Sep 29 via webFavoriteRetweetReply

 

Ouch.

[UPDATE 10:45: Just saw the entire interview transcript. The choicest bit:

Well, it's not painful because I watch it for the kids. I could care less about Maryland. I've burned my diploma. I'm flying a Georgia Tech flag right now.

To which I say: screw you, Friedgen. I don't even care if he's joking. That's just absurd, and disrespectful to the entire university. Updates to the post will be bracketed from here on out.]

Normally, there's no big surprise in a fired coach not liking his former employer, but Friedgen wasn't just an employee of the University of Maryland: he was a graduate. Friedgen played for the team, took classes in College Park, dedicated more than a decade of his life to serving it. I know it hurts to be let go, but I was one of the ones who thought (and hoped) he'd have too much support for the kids he recruited and coached, let alone the university from which he graduated, to turn his back on them. [And seriously, that's more than "turning his back." That's, like, sacrilege, or something. I'm serious.]

I guess not. Maybe he was having a sly smile at the Temple game.

I [guess I] understand where he's coming from - hey, he got fired, and by his own alma mater at that! And it happened after a successful year, just weeks after he had been given a public assurance as to his job security. He's not supposed to be happy. (Although that recap is ignoring several important factors in the process.)

But there's a difference between a) being upset with a situation and b) publicly turning your back and essentially critiquing said alma mater and team [oh, and burning your diploma]. He's never managed the alumni thing with grace, not when he was employed, not when he was being fired, and certainly not now. He seems to believe it bought him a longer rope, but forgot about it when he threatened to leave for the NFL to squeeze a pay raise out of a broke athletic department. This type of comment doesn't help that perception. [Nevermind about all that: It seems, at this point, that the alumnus thing wasn't particularly important to him - it was just a means to get him employment, apparently. if nothing else, it was insignificant enough for him  to burn his diploma, so I have no idea why it's supposed to be important to Maryland.]

Messy, unfortunate situation. Sad, really, all the way around. Fridge is an important figure of Maryland football history; I would hope he'd remain part of the family, no matter how acrimonious his departure was. Perhaps it can be rescued, ala Lefty. Perhaps he's just waiting out Kevin Anderson's departure to become buddy-buddy with the program again. [Although I don't want him back anymore.]

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