The University System of Maryland Board of Regents will hold a press conference at 3:30 p.m. in Baltimore on Tuesday. From a Board press release:
During the media availability, the results of the independent commission investigation into the culture of the football program at the University of Maryland, College Park (UMCP) will be discussed.
This comes as Maryland waits to hear back on the employment status of university president Wallace Loh, athletic director Damon Evans and head football coach DJ Durkin. Tuesday is the Board’s original self-imposed deadline for any “initial” recommendations or personnel moves from the findings of its two-month investigation into the Maryland football program.
The Board met at 5 p.m. on Monday in a conference call to once again discuss the results of the investigation. This was the fifth Board meeting in the past week and a half at which the investigation findings were a topic of discussion, and at least the fourth where it was the main topic of discussion.
Loh, Evans and Durkin were each originally scheduled to talk with USM Board of Regents chancellor Robert Caret on Monday. But The Washington Post’s Rick Maese then reported that Loh’s meeting with Caret had been canceled, and that Caret did not talk with Durkin or Evans either.
The closed meeting via conference call was the board’s fifth in 11 days on the matter, but even as speculation and pressure mounted, no personnel announcements were forthcoming, and the timetable for any resolution remained unclear.
The USM Board of Regents only has direct authority over the employment status of Loh. This has always made for an awkward question: if the Board decides the University of Maryland should part with Durkin and/or Evans, what happens next? If the Board of Regents were to fire all three people, a source tells ESPN’s Heather Dinich that would be “unprecedented”:
“The problem is, if they can do it to Damon Evans today, they can do it to a faculty member they don’t like tomorrow. It runs contrary to every good practice and norm as well as the law and their own bylaws. It’s never been done in the 30-year history of the board of regents. If they try to do that tomorrow or Tuesday it’s going to be very controversial, not just in the sports world, but in higher education generally. The problem is, nobody in their right mind is going to go to work on a campus they think the governing board is going to start reaching down and hiring and firing individual staff members like that. That’s crazy. You’ll have no trouble finding higher education experts all over the country to say how horrible that is.”
We’ll note that while the Board’s self-imposed deadline is Tuesday, its announcement on Oct. 17 that the Board “expects to” announce any “initial decisions and/or recommendations” by Tuesday would appear to open the door for things to take longer.
This story has been updated a few times, and we’ll continue to add any pertinent details as they become public.