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What we know as Maryland’s Board of Regents meets again on Thursday

This meeting could be the last step before some big news. Or maybe not. Either way, the clock is ticking.

maryland football-dj durkin-wallace loh-damon evans Sung Min Kim/Testudo Times

This story has been updated to reflect the Washington Post’s release of the commission’s report Thursday afternoon.

The University System of Maryland Board of Regents met once again on Thursday, Oct. 25 to discuss the fate of DJ Durkin and anyone else included in the investigation into Terps football. The Board ended its meeting without any big public announcement from the Board, save for that the 17 regents will meet again at 2 p.m. on Friday.

This was the third meeting since the Board of Regents first heard the results of the investigation on Friday, Oct. 19.

The Washington Post’s Rick Maese obtained a copy of the report and shared some conclusions from it before the start of Thursday’s meeting:

- “During Mr. Durkin’s tenure, the Athletics Department lacked a culture of accountability, did not provide adequate oversight of the football program, and failed to provide Mr. Durkin with the tools, resources, and guidance necessary to support and educate a first-time head coach in a major football conference.”

- “Mr. Court, on too many occasions, acted in a manner inconsistent with the University’s values and basic principles of respect for others.”

- “Both Mr. Durkin and leadership in the Athletics Department share responsibility for the failure to supervise Mr. Court.”

- “The University leadership bears some responsibility for the ongoing dysfunction of the Athletics Department;

- “Maryland should institute a strong “medical model” for student-athlete care to improve health outcomes and ensure that the University is a leader in collegiate sports medicine best practices.”

The Post’s has the whole report for you to read here. We’ll have more on it shortly.

A report from WTOP’s John Domen early Thursday morning says the investigation found the football program to be “not what should be considered ‘toxic,’” but that “a majority of the board” was in favor of the school parting ways with Durkin and athletic director Damon Evans. Domen also reports university president Wallace Loh’s exit is not “expected to be imminent,” but that a source says the regents and the school could work out a plan to have him step down by this spring.

Stay tuned.

Thursday’s meeting won’t see all members of the 17-person Board gather in one spot. It’ll be a conference call, if that makes a difference. This meeting starts at 3 p.m., and according to a Board of Regents press release, “no media availabilities or statements are expected during or following the Thursday meeting.”

What is the Board meeting about?

The Board discussed the results of the investigation into Maryland football’s “culture,” which was first announced by university president Wallace Loh in August but was then taken over by the Board. The results of that investigation should determine whether or not the university system views DJ Durkin as guilty of mistreating his players and operating a coaching environment that crossed the line into abusive for some players.

The Board will also likely be discussing Loh and Evans. Their roles in this entire situation are unclear. But given that Evans’ role before taking the full-time AD job dealt closely with football and the fact that Loh hired Evans after Jordan McNair’s death but before any reports of abusive behavior by the coaching staff does not look good. Neither does the admission that Loh’s office received a letter from an anonymous parent in 2016 alleging a similar coaching environment to what some former players outlined to reporters at ESPN and The Washington Post.

And while Loh’s decision to publicly accept “legal and moral responsibility” for McNair’s death won over many casual onlookers, ESPN reports that it “upset high-ranking state officials.”

The Washington Post reports Loh had not seen the report as of Tuesday. It’s hard to view that as a positive for him, though it’s not necessarily a negative. Loh isn’t on the Board, so the Board is not required to show him anything.

Domen’s story notes that the investigative commission did not make recommendations about any personnel changes. The Board of Regents itself would be charged with making any of those recommendations. The Board doesn’t have power to make any personnel changes to any university staff members besides president Loh, so it would technically be up to the school to follow those recommendations.

Steve Nordwall, the athletic department’s head trainer, and head football trainer Wes Robinson, have been on leave along with Durkin since Aug. 11. The Board is surely discussing their status as well. No assistant football coaches have been accused of wrongdoing in media reports, but it’s possible the Board is discussing anyone employed in the football department.

What’s going to happen after the meeting?

We really don’t know. The Board’s announcement that “no media availabilities or statements are expected during or following the Thursday meeting” leaves a lot of possibilities. We’ll update this post with any new information that comes out.