Maryland changes course, fires coach Durkin


Board president James T. Brady said in an interview on WBAL Radio on Wednesday afternoon that he recognized Durkin would face "a big hurdle" trying to fix the image of his program and recruit quality players in the aftermath of the McNair tragedy.

Loh reportedly clashed with the board over its recommendation to reinstate Durkin, per the Washington Post, but ultimately felt as if he had no other option but to reinstate the coach. I accepted the Board's recommendations.

During Tuesday's news conference Loh announced his retirement in June 2019.

"Since returning to campus after yesterday's press conference, I have met with the leadership of the Student Government Association speaking on behalf of numerous student organizations; the Senate Executive Committee; Deans; department chairs; and campus leadership".

"I am deeply troubled by the lack of transparency from the Board of Regents, and deeply concerned about how they could have possibly arrived at the decisions announced" Tuesday, Hogan said. It also said Durkin and leadership in the athletics department failed to supervise Court, the strength coach, properly.

Jordan was McNair's roommate, and he said the move to fire Durkin was the right decision for the university and the program and that it will allow the team to focus on football and its next opponent, Michigan State. Athletic director Damon Evans informed Durkin of the decision following practice on Wednesday.

The decision to keep Durkin, in the wake of the scandal that rocked the football program following the death of offensive lineman Jordan McNair, inspired widespread backlash on Tuesday and Wednesday.

"I could not imagine - and as the McNair family mentioned - how any parent would send their kid to play under coach Durkin after having the death on his watch", Allen said.

In deciding to reverse course, Loh did not consult with the board of regents, though Maryland officials did alert Robert Caret, the system's chancellor, shortly before they informed Durkin of their decision.

Multiple reports Tuesday said the board of regents urged Loh to retain Durkin and Evans, making it clear that Loh would be fired if Durkin wasn't kept as the coach.

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The University of Maryland Board of Regents made the stunning decision to retain coach D.J. Durkin after an investigation into the circumstances surrounding the death of Jordan McNair at a practice over the summer.

Durkin was at Terps practice Tuesday, his first time addressing the team since being placed on administrative leave August 11.

McNair was only a few feet from tea lights positioned to form No. 79 to honor his son, who died of a heatstroke on June 13. The school launched an investigation that found there was a culture of fear and intimidation around the football team, but that it was not "toxic".

Now, the McNair family's attorney is calling for the board of regents' chairman, James Brady, to be fired.

"I feel like I've been punched in the stomach, and somebody spit in my face", Marty McNair, Jordan's father, told ESPN's Heather Dinichand Adam Rittenberg. "I insisted that he needed to get justice for Jordan".

As players trickled out of the Gossett Football Team House, some had their heads hung low, briskly walking past media members, while one player skipped out of the building singing and laughing.

The regents say they believe one of the specialty coaches had "the best interests of the players at heart", but added that he "engaged in abusive conduct" by "attempting to humiliate players in front of their teammates by throwing food, weights and on one occasion, a trash can full of vomit".

Durkin was in the third season of a five-year, $12.5 million contract he signed in December 2015 after a year as the defensive coordinator under Jim Harbaugh at the University of MI.

Durkin rejoined the team Tuesday and was initially expected to be back on the sideline for Maryland's game against Michigan State on Saturday.