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|Posted: 10/31/18 10:02 pm ::: What a total cluster F at the U of MD
|It's hard to imagine mishandling an athletic dept scandal and firing worse than this. As but one example, Yahoo Sports begins its story as follows:
D.J. Durkin's belated firing shows Maryland's extraordinary level of incompetence
Less than 30 hours after Maryland had announced D.J. Durkin would return from administrative leave as Maryland’s football coach, athletic director Damon Evans informed him he was being dismissed.
And with that, Maryland officials threw a fresh bucket of kerosene on what will long be remembered as one of the biggest administrative dumpster fires in the history of both college athletics and higher education. At Maryland, whose football program has never sniffed the highest levels on the field, they’ve managed to crack the highest echelons of incompetence. If they gave out College Football Playoff bids based on leadership voids, the decibel of public-relations disasters and complete tone-deafness in the wake of a tragedy, Maryland would be unanimous No. 1 seed in 2018. It’s hard to imagine this effort not putting them in the conversation for an All-Century team.
After more than 24 hours of caustic columns, the promise of student protests and an admonishment from the governor – THE FREAKING GOVERNOR, think about that – Maryland finally did what was so obvious to everyone but the University System of Maryland’s Board of Regents. They parted ways with Durkin, who they’ll still end up owing $5 million, and let searing public embarrassment finally yield to some common sense.
Good article by John Feinstein before the belated firing - www.washingtonpost.com/sports/colleges/at-maryland-regents-somehow-took-a-tragedy-and-made-it-worse/2018/10/31/0205eaf8-dd0c-11e8-85df-7a6b4d25cfbb_story.html?utm_term=.30167fc58e52
The Governor had issued this statement:
“I am deeply troubled by the lack of transparency from the Board of Regents, and deeply concerned about how they could have possibly arrived at the decisions announced yesterday.
“I share the concerns of many Marylanders and believe very strongly that more must be done to restore the public trust. I am calling on both the University System of Maryland Board of Regents and President Wallace Loh to reconsider their decisions and to schedule a public hearing to address these issues in an open and transparent manner.
“While the university system is required by law to operate independent of political influence, and as such no governor has the ability to hire or fire any university personnel or members of the Board of Regents, I can and will demand that the university is held accountable for making the reforms they have pledged to put in place with the full transparency that the students, parents, and faculty expect and deserve.
“The University System of Maryland has let down the University of Maryland community and the citizens of Maryland, and now is the time to fix it.”
Reportedly the Board had ordered Loh to reinstate Durkin, which he did yesterday. Today, after getting trashed by the Governor, the team, the parents, and both national and local media, he ordered the AD to fire Durkin without even notifying the Board he was ignoring them.
BTW, Loh is now being painted as the victim and hero, but in my view he is far from blameless for the entire situation and generally is primarily concerned about his own reputation and position.