Univ. of Maryland seeking approval to demolish president’s house

Wallace Loh has been the president of the University of Maryland, College Park for a little more than a year, and now the school wants to knock his house down.

He’ll get another house, sure. But the decades old President’s Residence — it’s tucked between University of Maryland University College and Ludwig Field, where the winning fall sports teams play — will be no more.

The University System of Maryland is seeking Board of Public Works approval to knock down the mansion, built in 1956. And it seems USM has a pretty good case to break out the wrecking ball.

According to the board’s agenda, the house “is no longer suitable for functioning as both a residence and as a venue for important events hosted by the president.”

It gets better (or worse, if you’re one of the people who lives there).

The president of the state’s flagship institution is living in and hosting events at a house that “has not been upgraded or refurbished since 1991 and does not meet current life safety codes; is not ADA accessible; many asbestos containing materials remain; and the building is in significant repairs.”

If not meeting “life safety codes” sounds bad to you, you’re right. The code was developed by the National Fire Protection Association to cover “minimum building design, construction, operation, and maintenance requirements necessary to protect building occupants from danger caused by fire, smoke, and toxic fumes.”

Continue reading

Mike Leach gets Mike Miller’s vote

After chatting with Maryland Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller Jr. last week about the upcoming legislative session, the $1.6 billion budget deficit and the debates on taxes, gay marriage and the death penalty, the conversation shifted to a topic that that has gotten considerably more attention recently.

Who will replace Ralph Friedgen as the University of Maryland’s football coach?

For Miller, a Maryland grad and a staunch supporter of the school, the answer is simple.

“I personally support Mike Leach,” said Miller. Leach, the former head coach at Texas Tech, has been spending his time in Key West since leaving that program. There, according to Fox Sports, the pirate-obsessed Leach hangs out with a guy named “Weed” and has run-ins with sharks.

Continue reading

Lawmaker wants input on UMD football schedule

The state of Maryland already spends millions to build and operate stadiums and arenas for sports teams, and now a Prince George’s County delegate and former NFL quarterback wants the state to have a say in who some of the teams play.

Del. Jay Walker‘s “Maryland Football Act” would require, in technical terms, schools in the NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision to play Football Championship Subdivision schools once every four years. Before you go to Google to decipher the NCAA tiers, it means the University of Maryland would have to play both Towson University and Morgan State at least once every four years.

“It would ensure that Morgan and Towson don’t just play Maryland once in a lifetime,” Walker said. “It would help those schools tremendously.

The games could be played on either team’s home field, or at a neutral site, according to the language of the bill.

“When the NCAA allowed FBS schools to play a 12th game, it was so they could play smaller schools,” Walker said. “Rather than [James Madison University] or [the University of Richmond] coming up and getting their $600,000, the games should stay in the state.”

Maryland played Madison last season and squeaked out a 38-35 win in overtime.