COLLEGE PARK, Maryland — The University System of Maryland (USM) Board of Regents recommended that head football coach DJ Durkin and athletic director Damon Evans retain their positions during a press conference to discuss the results of the investigation into the University of Maryland football program’s alleged “toxic” culture on Tuesday afternoon,
Board Chairman Jim Brady explained that the board believed there were problems within the football program, but those were caused by the lack of resources given to Durkin, rather than a “toxic” culture.
Shortly after the announcement, University President Wallace Loh announced that he plans to retire from his position in June 2019.
The incident goes back to May 29, when 19-year-old offensive lineman Jordan McNair collapsed after an outdoor team workout. McNair died two weeks later due to complications from heatstroke.
It wasn’t until after ESPN published stories on the specifics of McNair’s death and the alleged “toxic” culture under Durkin that Loh issued an investigation into the incident.
Fans, politicians and players took to social media to criticize and praise the Board of Regent’s findings, though overall sentiment was negative.
Several Maryland football players showed support for their fallen teammate.
Every Saturday my teammates and I have to kneel before the memorial of our fallen teammate. Yet a group of people do not have the courage to hold anyone accountable for his death. If only they could have the courage that Jordan had. It’s never the wrong time to do what’s right. pic.twitter.com/AaZVmLGTtS
— Ellis McKennie (@emck_cubed97) October 30, 2018
At the end of the day, a YOUNG life was lost. My brother, teammate. And to boil it down to even horrific matters, a paycheck was chosen over that life. Through whatever and forever, I live for Jordan Martin McNair. https://t.co/YX18QH6Pl5
— Tyran Hunt (@tyranjhunt) October 31, 2018
Gov. Larry Hogan also released an official statement regarding the investigation results.
Today, I issued the following statement regarding the University System of Maryland Board of Regents’ announcement of the results of their investigation into the University of Maryland, College Park athletic program: pic.twitter.com/GwdqfQbMhf
— Governor Larry Hogan (@GovLarryHogan) October 30, 2018
A few fans believed the Board of Regents made the right decision.
It’s a tragedy, but the athletic trainers are the responsible party here. Period. They are responsible for medical treatment and failed to provide it. Period. I’m not fan of Durkin, but fair is fair. No coach would expect a college athlete to have heat stroke on 8 sprints.
— The Working Law Firm (@WorkingLawFirm) October 30, 2018
THE WITCH HUNT IS OVER https://t.co/X5YBnV6Jzz
— Barstool UMD (@barstoolUMD) October 30, 2018
While a majority of fans and students think the wrong decision was made.
I knew Durkin came from the Urban Meyer coaching tree. I didn’t realize the Marylan Board of Regents did too. https://t.co/eWHsa7QdfY
— Big Red Cobcast (@bigredcobcast) October 30, 2018
This is nuts. They fired Lefty after Len Bias died, and he’s in the Hall of Fame. Durkin should have been similarly cashiered. https://t.co/9jqdPYKJcL
— OrangeSeats1940 (@OrangeSeats1940) October 30, 2018
Athletics above academics. Donors above students.
Disgusted but not surprised. https://t.co/71bCLtXErg
— jess george (@iamjessfrancine) October 30, 2018
As the press conference was being held, Durkin was able to meet with the football team for the first time since he was placed on administrative leave in August. Durkin is expected to make his first appearance of the 2018 season on the sidelines Saturday as the Terrapins take on the Michigan State Spartans. It is still unclear whether he will keep his job after the end of the 2018 season.
What do you think of the Board of Regents decision to reinstate Maryland head football coach DJ Durkin?
— Capital News Service (@CNSmd) October 31, 2018