For those of you who don’t pay all that much attention to Edsall or who avoid the media hype of National Signing Day on principle, here’s a quick recap:
Edsall told reporters on National Signing Day that he and defensive coordinator Brian Stewart got lost looking for recruit Will Likely‘s home in Belle Glade, Fl. He said the coaches were followed by several pick-up trucks after making a wrong turn in a development, were chased for several miles, and called 911 for assistance.
“I’m very, very fortunate to be sitting here,” Edsall said on Signing Day.
If that wasn’t dramatic enough for one recruiting trip, Edsall’s being accused of making the whole thing up.
A Maryland spokesperson backed the head coach, but apparently the 911 phone logs don’t do the same. Edsall claimed he called 911, identified himself as the head coach at the University of Maryland, and requested a police escort out of the area.
The Palm Beach Post investigated the emergency dispatch log but found no record of a call. Communications expert John Minor told the Post that a call from a poor service area might not have shown up, but noted that the lack of any call record is “an indication some untruth may be going on.”
“Some untruth” certainly sounds more likely than Edsall misdialing “9-1-1″ and then not realizing he wasn’t actually talking to an emergency dispatcher. If he can’t figure that out, he probably wouldn’t have made it this far in life, let alone in coaching.
It wouldn’t be the first time a coach told some tall tales when it came to recruiting, but this one doesn’t even make sense. Likely lives in that area; he knows what it’s like and how dangerous it can be, so it’s not as if highlighting the bad parts of the kid’s own town would influence his decision.
Perhaps Edsall and Stewart were late for their meeting with Likely and his family and lied about it to make a slightly better impression. Nearly getting run off the road by anonymous pick-up trucks does sound like a more worthy excuse than: “Sorry, we were late. I knew the GPS was pointing us in the wrong direction but followed it anyway.”
In his initial story, the coach said he’s been to the area many times and is very familiar with it, and he claimed he knew something was wrong with the route the GPS told them to take. He’s either A) lying about his familiarity with the area; B) embarrassed to admit he got lost somewhere so familiar; or C) stupid for continuing to follow an inanimate and sometimes inaccurate GPS rather than following his gut.
And let’s be honest, would you really want your kid’s education and football career in the hands of someone who fit any of the above?
At the very least, Edsall should know better than to fib about calling the authorities, something that can easily be verified or rebutted. No one who’s watched enough crime dramas and cop shows to come up with a recruiting thriller like this one would make a careless oversight like that.