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Maryland Board of Regents chair James Brady resigns

Brady has been under fire after recommending that DJ Durkin be reinstated as head coach.

Maryland v Texas Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images

University System of Maryland Board of Regents chairman James Brady has resigned from his position, he announced in a statement Thursday.

Brady’s intention to resign was first reported by the Washington Post on Thursday afternoon, shortly after the Board of Regents concluded a closed meeting in Baltimore.

This comes two days after the Board announced its recommendation to reinstate Maryland football coach DJ Durkin. University of Maryland president Wallace Loh reversed course and fired Durkin on Wednesday, reportedly without consulting the Board on the matter.

“In recent days, I have become the public face of both the board and its decisions related to these matters,” Brady said in the statement. “In my estimation, my continued presence on the board will inhibit its ability to move Maryland’s higher education agenda forward. And I have no interest in serving as a distraction from that important work.

“Accordingly, I will step down from the Board of Regents immediately.”

Here’s how Brady explained the Board’s decision to recommend Durkin’s reinstatement in an interview with the Sun:

When DJ came on board, he didn’t get all the help he needed. Being the head coach of a college football team in 2018, in a big conference like the Big Ten, is a big job. I don’t think the proper consideration was given to all of that. But we felt he is a good man and a good coach. We want to give him the opportunity to get that right, recognizing full well the challenge he has in front of him to do that.

This decision, of course, was met with severe backlash from all sides. Players, students, media and state and federal lawmakers voiced their displeasure with Durkin’s return to the team. This included Gov. Larry Hogan (R), who called both Loh and the Board to urge them to reverse the decision. Hogan appointed Brady to the Board of Regents in March 2015; Brady had previously chaired Hogan’s victorious 2014 campaign for governor and was co-chair of his transition team.

Other politicians called for Brady’s ousting specifically. Rep. Anthony Brown (D) called for Brady to resign, citing “the extreme callousness and ineptitude he demonstrated by putting his own personal agenda ahead of the welfare of our students.” Ben Jealous, the Democratic candidate opposing Hogan’s re-election for governor, called Wednesday for Hogan to remove Brady from his position.

Barry Gossett, the vice chair of the Board of Regents and a high-profile donor to Maryland athletics, would assume the chairman position in Brady’s absence.