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The hottest shot around
John Schulian
May 26, 1975
With his 100-mph goals and gallivanting, Terp Frank Urso is fast on his way to becoming the first four-year All-America since 1950
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May 26, 1975

The Hottest Shot Around

With his 100-mph goals and gallivanting, Terp Frank Urso is fast on his way to becoming the first four-year All-America since 1950

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It's about this campus cop who supposedly was stuffed in a trash can by Frank Urso. No longer do people at the University of Maryland discuss Urso's chances of becoming the first four-time All-America lacrosse player since Harry Truman was President. They want to talk about the great trash can caper.

Like any good story, it is as overblown as a used-car salesman's promise. True, there was a scuffle last October when the cop confronted Urso and five drinking buddies at the school's south gate. And true, Urso was the only one charged with assault and battery. But the charge has been placed in the judicial limbo of the stet processus docket, and university officials have never said a word about Urso having a trash can for an accomplice.

Urso laughs off the rumored trashing of the cop. He would not be a good-time All-America if he couldn't. And he wouldn't be if he let busybodies shackle his mad dash through life. "I thought people expected jocks to be in these type situations," he says innocently.

"That's the way Frank is," says Doug Radebaugh, who plays midfield with Urso. "He just lives day to day and enjoys himself as much as he can."

Seven months of marriage apparently have done little to change the mustachioed man-child. The main difference is that he now either takes his wife Kathy with him or asks her blessing before he goes. It is agreed that Urso, the lone married man on the team, is still the best of company when the good times roll.

He's also been a fine companion on the lacrosse field since his freshman season, when he scored the goal that beat Johns Hopkins for the 1973 NCAA title. "If you don't know what to do," Maryland Coach Bud Beardmore says, "you just give the ball to Frank."

Once he gets it the 21-year-old junior is like a ticking suitcase in an airport: he makes things happen. On a fast break he may surprise an opponent by sprinting past him without a fake. Or he may combine the face dodges of lacrosse with the halfback feints that enticed Ohio State, Penn State and Pittsburgh to try to recruit him for football. Frank turned them down because of his aching knees and because he had an idea he could be something special in lacrosse.

Glenn Thiel, the University of Virginia coach, leaves no doubt that Urso had the right idea. "He's starting a whole new trend," says Thiel. "He's a superathlete, the kind of kid who would be great at anything. There have been a few kids like that before, but they always played another sport in addition to lacrosse. Now that they have a chance at pro box lacrosse, I think more of them are going to play just the one sport."

Admittedly hungry for a taste of the National Lacrosse League, Urso is pioneering in a most visible fashion. He is widely considered the country's best college player. He has been recognized as just that by both Thiel and Bob Scott, who retired last year after winning his seventh lacrosse national championship in 20 seasons of coaching at Hopkins. "There haven't been many others in Urso's boat," Scott says. In fact, he can think of only one midfielder better than Urso, Syracuse's Jim Brown.

The way eligibility rules were set up when Brown played, he never had a chance to become what Urso should be by the end of next year, a four-time All-America. The last four-timer was Lloyd Bunting, a Hopkins defenseman in 1947-50. But although Bunting was first-team All-America as a freshman, junior and senior, the best he could do as a sophomore was honorable mention. It is necessary to go back to 1922-25, when Doug Turnbull was on the attack for Hopkins, to find a quadruple All-America who was first team across the board.

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