If you've ever seen a football movie, you've seen the iconic moment: the coach comes into his victorious locker room, his players gather around, he lifts up the ball from the game and hands it to his star player while the team goes nuts. Here, just look:
But thanks to NCAA regulations, Maryland put a damper on the ceremony. The Baltimore Sun reports that senior linebacker Marcus Whitfield found out after being honored with the game ball Saturday:
"We can't get the game ball until after we leave school because it's against NCAA regulations. We have the game ball but it's in the archives," Whitfield said. "That was crazy when I heard that (about game balls) when Coach (Randy) Edsall first got here," said Whitfield, a fifth-year senior.
The NCAA told the Sun that it isn't an NCAA violation to give a player a game ball, but since schools are only allowed to give players a certain money value of awards not available to student athletes, they're playing it safe and holding onto the balls until post-graduation.