James T. Brady, chair of Maryland’s Board of Regents, announced his resignation Thursday and will step down immediately amid backlash from the handling of DJ Durkin’s status within the football program.
University System of Maryland board chair James Brady announces he’s stepping down from the board of regents. “In my estimation, my continued presence on the board will inhibit its ability to move Maryland’s higher education agenda forward,” Brady said… https://t.co/hgodGl5mdp
“In my estimation, my continued presence on the board will inhibit its ability to move Maryland’s higher education agenda forward,” Brady said in a prepared statement, via ESPN. “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.”
Brady announced Tuesday the university’s decision to retain Durkin and went against Maryland president Wallace D. Loh, who recommended to the board Durkin should be fired following an investigation into the handling of 19-year-old Jordan McNair’s death. Brady said in his statement Thursday that he respected the many people who disagreed with the recommendations.
“They were difficult decisions, based on information included in reports stemming from two investigations and a great deal of thought and deliberation. I understand that reasonable people could come to other conclusions,” he said. “And even among our board, some did.The decision to retain Durkin was met with backlash from many including Maryland Governor Larry Hogan. Brady chaired Hogan’s 2014 campaign for governor.
“Going forward … I believe the board needs to be able to return to the important business of supporting and advancing Maryland’s public university system, for the benefit of its students and families, and of people across the state.”
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Durkin and the entire Maryland athletic department have faced scrutiny since this summer, when McNair, a 19-year-old offensive lineman, collapsed of heatstroke during a workout May 29. He died June 13. In the aftermath, an ESPN report uncovered a culture of intimidation in the football program, which led to Durkin’s suspension as the university investigated McNair’s death and other issues with the program.
However, that study found “no toxic culture” in the program, as alleged in the ESPN report.
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