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Around & About / news and notes

Friedgen out at Maryland

Ralph Friedgen was fired as Maryland's football coach Monday, effective after the Military Bowl on Dec. 29.

Friedgen received $2 million to cover the final year of his contract in 2011. Athletic director Kevin Anderson intended to immediately form a search committee to find Friedgen's replacement, and acknowledged that former Texas Tech coach Mike Leach is on his preliminary list.

There's been speculation for days about Friedgen's status, and the possibility that Leach could be his successor. Asked about other names on the list, Anderson declined comment.

"Right now there is no leading candidate," he said, adding that no one had been contacted by late Monday afternoon. But Anderson intends to have the position filled by Jan. 4.

During his 10 years at his alma mater, Friedgen went 74-50. After the Terrapins slipped to 2-10 last year, Friedgen guided the team to an 8-4 record, and earned his seventh postseason appearance.

But that was not enough for Anderson, who decided against negotiating an extension for the 63-year-old coach.

Elsewhere, Darrell Hazell is the new Kent State coach after spending seven seasons an Ohio State assistant.

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Strasburg bouncing back

Stephen Strasburg says his rehabilitation is "on track" and he hopes to start throwing a few weeks before spring training.

"It's going great right now," the Washington Nationals pitcher said.

Strasburg's sensational rookie season was cut short by reconstructive elbow surgery in September. He said he's getting physical therapy three times a week, in sessions of two to three hours, and that he'll emerge "probably in a lot better shape" than he ever was.

Strasburg said he will see his doctor after the holidays to get an indication of when he can start throwing.

Strasburg went 5-3 with a 2.91 ERA and 92 strikeouts in 12 starts this year.

Elsewhere in baseball, Luis Vizcaino has agreed to a minor league contract with the New York Yankees.

From News and wire service reports.

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