COLLEGE PARK, Md. -- A day after the controversial decision to reinstate UMD head football coach DJ Durkin, student leaders are calling on the schools retiring president Wallace Loh to fire the coach in defiance of the University System Board of Regents.
"The right thing to do in the situation for President Loh is to fire coach Durkin and he has the authority to do so as President of the University regardless of what the Board of Regents desires," said Jonathan Allen, President of the UMD Student Government Association.
Loh announced his retirement Tuesday as Board of Regent Chair Jim Brady announced the reinstatement of Durkin, who had been on administrative leave pending the investigation of the heat stroke death of player Jordan McNair and allegations that the football program was infected with a toxic, abusive culture.
Students are organizing a Justice for Jordan rally on campus Thursday to pressure the administration, the Regents and political leaders to step in and reverse the decision on Durkin.
The SGA plans to meet Wednesday evening to vote on a resolution calling on Loh to defy the regents and take action against Durkin before the coach takes the field with the team Saturday at home against Michigan State.
The students are now leading a chorus of outrage that includes Maryland political figures.
State Comptroller Peter Franchot, who oversees state spending including Durkin's $2.5 million annual salary called the reinstatement an "embarrassment to the people of Maryland."
Congressman Anthony Brown, who represents the College Park area issued a statement:
"The University of Maryland athletic staff failed Jordan McNair, and on Tuesday the USM Board of Regents failed him again. "
Players have begun to break their silence by taking to social media.
"A paycheck was chosen over that life," Tweeted offensive tackle Tyran Hunt.