Maryland announced Tuesday that it was reinstating coach DJ Durkin, as well as athletic director Damon Evans following a university investigation into Durkin’s program relating to the death of Terrapins player Jordan McNair. The decision was based on the recommendation from the University System of Maryland’s Board of Regents that both men be retained.
It’s a decision that surprised many and has drawn plenty of backlash. The latest of that backlash came from Maryland Governor Larry Hogan, who released the following statement Wednesday afternoon:
“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 yesterday.
“I share the concerns of many Marylanders and believe very strongly that more must be done to restore the public trust. I am calling on both the University System of Maryland Board of Regents and President Wallace Loh to reconsider their decisions and to schedule a public hearing to address these issues in an open and transparent manner.
“While the university system is required by law to operate independent of political influence, and as such no governor has the ability to hire or fire any university personnel or members of the Board of Regents, I can and will demand that the university is held accountable for making the reforms they have pledged to put in place with the full transparency that the students, parents, and faculty expect and deserve.
“The University System of Maryland has let down the University of Maryland community and the citizens of Maryland, and now is the time to fix it.”
Hogan may hold the highest profile, but he is by no means the first Maryland politician to speak on the school’s decision. Maryland congressman Anthony Brown released a statement of his own about the decision.
“Coach Durkin should be fired. Director Evans should be fired,” said Brown. “The University of Maryland athletic staff failed Jordan McNair, and on Tuesday the USM Board of Regents failed him again.”
Maggie McIntosh, a member of the Maryland House of Delegates, said the group would hold a hearing on Nov. 15 to “shine more light” on the decision-making process at Maryland that led to the reinstatement of both Durkin and Evans.
“Obviously the regents had their press conference, and it actually has raised a lot more questions and is getting quite a strong reaction from policy makers, legislators and frankly, even the public,” said McIntosh. “I’ve heard words like ‘perplexing,’ ‘shocking,’ and so I do think we need to bring kind of the decision-making process, shine more light on it, and see what happens.”
It’s not just politicians questioning the decision, but Maryland players as well. There have been reports that Maryland players walked out of a team meeting with Durkin on Tuesday, and offensive lineman Ellis McKennie shared his feelings about Durkin’s reinstatement on his Twitter account Tuesday.
Maryland is scheduled to play at home against Michigan State on Saturday.
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