Following what should have been an expected mountain of backlash, Maryland fired football coach DJ Durkin on Wednesday, one day after he was reinstated. Durkin had previously been on administrative leave since August while the football program was being investigated following an ESPN.com story about the team’s “toxic” culture as it related to the death of offensive lineman Jordan McNair in June.
The criticism against Maryland for bring Durkin back was swift and ample, coming from current Terrapin players, McNair’s parents and the media. On May 29, McNair was hospitalized for heatstroke and exhaustion during a team workout, and on June 13, he died at age 19.
(School President Wallace D.) Loh acted alone in deciding to fire Durkin, a source told ESPN’s Adam Rittenberg, not consulting the board of regents. Loh informed athletic director Damon Evans of his decision and Evans fired Durkin. Durkin was “surprised” by the school’s decision, the source said.
A Maryland player told ESPN’s Tom VanHaaren that Evans informed the team Durkin was fired in a team meeting. The player said no one asked any questions.
Maryland offensive lineman Johnny Jordan was McNair’s roommate, and he spoke to reporters Wednesday after learning Durkin was fired, saying: “The right decision was made for justice for Jordan.”
Here’s how he and other Maryland football players reacted to the news on social media.
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