- DJ Durkin has been fired as head football coach at the University of Maryland.
- The school initially chose to reinstate Durkin after an investigation following the death of a player during practice.
- The school reversed the decision after 24 hours of widespread criticism.
DJ Durkin has been fired as head coach of the University of Maryland football team, according to multiple reports, including ESPN.
The move came 24 hours after the school had reinstated the coach on the recommendation of the board of regents which had been investigating the death of Jordan McNair. The 19-year-old offensive lineman died two weeks after suffering heatstroke during a practice in May.
The board concluded that Durkin had been “unfairly blamed for the dysfunction in the athletic department,” and that it was “not fair to place all of [the responsibility] at his feet.”
“This is why people don’t trust big-time athletics,” ESPN’s Paul Finebaum said on ESPN Radio. “This is a complete and total sham. It’s a travesty … There’s no rhyme or reason for this. There’s no common sense. This is the big guys running the program.”
Maryland Governor Larry Hogan was among those who called on the school to reconsider the decision to reinstate Durkin, saying the school had “let down” the university community and the citizens of the state.
“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,” Hogan said in a statement, adding: “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 … 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.”