UPDATE: The University of Maryland announced Wednesday night that the school has parted ways with embattled football coach DJ Durkin. The move came hours after Gov. Larry Hogan issued a statement calling on the University System of Maryland Board of Regents to reconsider its decision to retain Durkin and athletic director Damon Evans.
The original story appears below.
Gov. Larry Hogan called on the University System of Maryland’s governing body Wednesday to reconsider its decisions to keep its flagship university’s football coach and athletic director, while allowing its president to retire, following the death of a player.
The Republican governor, facing an election in six days, issued a late-afternoon statement that he was deeply troubled by the Board of Regents’ lack of transparency in arriving at its decisions the previous day.
“I share the concerns of many Marylanders and believe very strongly that more must be done to restore the public trust,” Hogan said. “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.”
Hogan, who has appointed a majority of the current board, had come under criticism from his Democratic challenger and others for the system’s decision to retain University of Maryland football coach DJ Durkin and athletic director Damon Evans despite the critical findings of an investigation into the death of offensive lineman Jordan McNair. Loh announced that he would retire as of June.
Hogan’s initial statement Tuesday questioned whether enough had been done to address “serious concerns” at the College Park campus, but did not directly condemn the decision.
After widespread criticism that the regents elevated athletics over academics, Hogan came back a day later with a more forceful objection.
“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,” Hogan said.
The 13 of the 17 regents Hogan has appointed during his four-year term include James T. Brady, the chairman of Hogan’s long-shot bid for governor in 2014. Brady also oversaw Hogan’s transition team.