Kevin Anderson's brief tenure as Maryland's athletic director has been anything but smooth sailing so far.
A 2-10 season for the Terrapins' football team under first-year coach Randy Edsall -- on the heels of a nine-win campaign before the departure of Ralph Friedgen -- has played a big part in creating an uncertain future for the athletic department. Anderson acknowledges that in an interview with the Baltimore Sun's Don Markus, but he believes in the direction Edsall is taking the Terrapins.
"The high school coaches around here have received him [Edsall] very well and a young man like [Stefon] Diggs and some of these other people, if their parents and these kids thought he wasn't a good coach or a good person, they had a lot of other options," Anderson said. "They have to believe in what we're trying to do and what we're trying to establish.
"We still have some challenges. I would be foolish to sit up here and tell you that it was going to be easy, but at the end of the day, we will have success here and we will have success at the highest level ... Randy has a great track record at making sure both academically as well as athletically that his teams have been competitive. That's the other thing that I looked at and that's why I believe that we'll be successful as we continue to go down this path."
Maryland's men's basketball team went just 6-10 in ACC play this past season under first-year coach Mark Turgeon, but whatever negativity surrounds the program pales in comparison to the attention engulfing Edsall and the football team.
Anderson believes a big part in the difference in perception was that former basketball coach Gary Williams endorsed the hiring of Turgeon after retiring. Anderson tells Markus that it hurts him to see some of the attacks on Edsall -- who has had 13 players with remaining eligibility leave the program since season's end, and 25 since he was hired -- but he will push forward if things don't improve much for the football team this fall.
"Then we're just going to have alternative plans to get through that, and make things happen the way they will, " Anderson said. "Eventually it will happen. If it doesn't, some other people that I report to will have to answer that question as well. I know I have the support of the president, the chancellor. They see what we're trying to do. I think they feel confident that we're going to get it done. I believe our vision and what we want for the institution is the right thing. At some point in time, I've seen it happen with other people, if they don't believe that, wherever the cards fall, they'll fall. But I can go to sleep at night knowing we're doing the right thing."