Things could be coming to a head in very short order at Maryland.
Wednesday night, the University of Maryland announced that it has called a special meeting of its Board of Regents Friday morning at approximately 10:05 ET. Among the topics on the agenda to be discussed at the closed-door session are “[t]he appointment, employment, assignment, promotion, discipline, demotion, compensation, removal, resignation, or performance evaluation of appointees, employees, or officials over whom it has jurisdiction.”
Per the school’s release, there are three reasons behind it being closed to the public:
- To maintain confidentiality with regard to personnel matters at UMCP.
- To maintain confidentiality with regard to a discussion concerning potential litigation against a USM institution.
- To maintain attorney-client privilege with respect to legal advice of counsel.
Presumably, the future of head football coach D.J. Durkin will be front and center in the closed-door discussions.
At a press conference Tuesday, Maryland president Wallace Loh addressed the ongoing investigation into the death of 19-year-old Terrapins football player Jordan McNair, stating that the university “accepts legal and moral responsibility for the mistakes that our training staff made on that fateful workout day.” The president acknowledged that McNair’s death could’ve been prevented, but the football program’s “basically misdiagnosed the situation.”
The press conference came three days after Durkin was placed on administrative leave and not long after the attorney representing the family of deceased Terrapins football player Jordan McNair called for Durkin’s dismissal. Thursday morning, McNair’s parents called for Durkin’s resignation during an interview on ABC’s Good Morning America.
Durkin’s administrative leave and subsequent calls for his job stem from a damning report late last week in which it was alleged McNair was showing signs of distress before he collapsed during a workout in late May, dying a little over two weeks later of what his family described as heatstroke. That same report, which led to the suspensions of members of the training staff and strength & conditioning coach as well, also detailed a “toxic” culture within the football program under Durkin, one based on fear, intimidation, belittling, humiliation and embarrassment. Players were, allegedly, routinely subjected to what was described as extreme verbal abuse.
Durkin, as well as two athletic trainers, remain on leave. Additionally, head strength & conditioning Rick Court‘s resignation was announced earlier this week.