COLLEGE PARK, Md. -- The University of Maryland has decided to fire head football coach DJ Durkin after his reinstatement was announced on Tuesday.
The decision comes after the death of UMD football player Jordan McNair. He was a freshman player who died of a heatstroke after a May practice, under the watch of now departed assistant coach Rick Court.
On Tuesday, the University Board of Regents announced they would reinstate the head coach despite ample evidence that the football program was rife with humiliation and abuse of players.
That didn't sit well with some student leaders and the Governor of Maryland.
Governor Larry Hogan said he's deeply troubled and called on the Regents and President Loh to reconsider.
UMD President Loh released the following statement on Wednesday:
"Dear University of Maryland community,
I am writing to inform you of actions I am taking that are in the best interest of the University of Maryland.
Yesterday, the University System of Maryland Board of Regents announced numerous recommendations, including employment decisions about specific personnel on our campus. I accepted the Board’s recommendations. At the same time, I announced my retirement as president in June 2019.
Since returning to campus after yesterday’s press conference, I have met with the leadership of the Student Government Association speaking on behalf of numerous student organizations; the Senate Executive Committee; Deans; department chairs; and campus leadership. The overwhelming majority of stakeholders expressed serious concerns about Coach DJ Durkin returning to the campus.
The chair of the Board of Regents has publicly acknowledged that I had previously raised serious concerns about Coach Durkin’s return. This is not at all a reflection of my opinion of Coach Durkin as a person. However, a departure is in the best interest of the University, and this afternoon Coach Durkin was informed that the University will part ways.
This is a difficult decision, but it is the right one for our entire University. I will devote the remaining months of my presidency to advancing the needed reforms in our Athletic Department that prioritize the safety and well-being of our student-athletes."