You may remember Randy Edsall bemoaning Maryland football's current academic state a few weeks ago. Maybe this had something to do with it:
The NCAA has told Maryland that it stands to lose three football scholarships because the rate that charts players' paths toward graduation slipped beneath acceptable levels.
The penalty, triggered largely by a poor academic showing during the disastrous 2-10 season of 2009, is not final. Maryland could still receive a waiver or, absent that, file an appeal. It would be the first time Maryland has been docked scholarships in any sport since the NCAA began collecting such academic data in 2003-04.
Maryland's APR rates are notoriously mediocre (though are improving rapidly), and it seems the basketball rates are brought up in conversation (however stupidly) about three times a year or so. The football struggles are relatively new, though.
The scholarship sanction isn't yet final, as the article says. Maryland appealed and lost, but the NCAA is taking another look at it. Obviously, the hope is that the NCAA reverses their decision based on recent academic improvement, but even if they don't, three lost scholarships aren't killer. It does mean a slightly smaller recruiting class, but Maryland is already hovering around 82 scholarships as it stands now. Perhaps that explains why we've seen Esdall cutting ties with so many players and recruits.
For the record, the sanction could take effect whenever the NCAA so chooses, and will last a year. The best case scenario, given the fact that Maryland's already very close to the sanction level, might be the sanctions taking effect this year, thus giving Maryland a full recruiting class for Edsall's first recruiting season, the 2012 class. (Actually, the best result would be Maryland not being sanctioned, but that goes without saying).
Not quite a disaster, but it's not the best news to wake up to on a beautiful Friday morning.