With all of the bad publicity in the last week around the fallout from Jordan McNair’s death, the University System of Maryland’s Board of Regents will hold a special closed meeting on Friday morning. On the docket: personnel matters and potential lawsuits.
While we know the general idea of what’s going to happen, the specifics won’t be known until after the meeting concludes. Brett McMurphy, who first reported the meeting itself, went on Stadium Thursday to speculate about what will happen behind closed doors.
From the interview:
A source told me that most likely the conversations could be centered around the future of Athletic Director Damon Evans. I don’t think they’re going to make a determination on football coach DJ Durkin at this meeting because the school has already said they’re investigating to see if there is a toxic culture at the university. That investigation is expected to go on for a couple more weeks. The source I talked to said, quite frankly, it’s a dumpster fire there.
I think Maryland was very impressive the way they came out in their press conference, taking full responsibility for what happened. The biggest question, though, is why did they wait two months? That’s something a lot of Maryland supporters are questioning and because of the delay in coming forward with that, that ultimately could impact the future of Damon Evans and possibly even President Wallace Loh.
The meeting comes a week after ESPN’s report on McNair’s final workout, three days after Loh and Evans held a press conference and accepted “legal and moral responsibility” for McNair’s death and a day after McNair’s parents said Durkin should resign or be fired.
However, despite the timing of their statement and the meeting, the “personnel matters” more likely refer to Evans and Loh than Durkin. To that point, the memo topic “potential lawsuit against a USM institution” likely refers to McNair’s family, but could also pertain to any combination of Evans, Loh and Durkin. Evans was named Maryland’s permanent athletic director just weeks after McNair passed.
Durkin has been on paid administrative leave since Saturday, less than a day after ESPN published a report about a “toxic culture” inside Maryland football. That culture is now the subject of a second independent investigation, which the university should allow to conclude first, to see if it can fire him “for cause” and save 65% of the money he’s owed. Otherwise, Maryland’s on the hook for Durkin’s full salary.
This is a developing story, and we’ll continue to update it as more information becomes available.
In other football news
Jared went on Fox Sports radio in New Mexico Thursday morning to discuss the situation that Maryland finds itself in.
Loh rejected a proposal to reshape how Maryland gives student-athletes medical care in 2017, over a full year before McNair died, from The Washington Post.
Two of Durkin’s former charges from Stanford, C.J. Easter and Blaise Johnson have been content to watch their former coach’s demise and are happy that he’s been “exposed,” from InsideMDSports.
Add the Prince George’s County state’s attorney’s office to entities keeping an eye on Maryland’s situation, from The Baltimore Sun.
In better news
Maryland’s fall sports get started with a women’s soccer win, after a two-goal performance from Jarena Harmon led to a 2-1 season opening win over William & Mary. The Terps return to the field on Sunday at 2 p.m., to play James Madison in their second game in the JMU Invitational.
Former Terp Adam Kolarek picked up his first Major League save on Thursday, picking up three outs with the bases loaded to secure a Rays win over the Yankees.
And Kristen Confroy is the Big Ten’s nominee for NCAA Woman of the Year.