Just one day after the Board of Regents had reinstated University of Maryland football coach DJ Durkin, the school’s president, Wallace Loh, fired him.
Loh, who announced Tuesday that he is retiring at the end of the school year, said Wednesday that he dismissed Durkin after meeting with the student government association, the department chairs and other campus leadership.
“This is a difficult decision, but it is the right one for our entire university,” Loh wrote in a letter to the campus.
Here’s what politicians, family members, alumni, reporters and others are saying about it:
» Congressmen Elijah E. Cummings and Anthony G. Brown said separately that Loh had made the right decision. Cummings called for Loh to rescind his retirement.
“President Loh was the only leader who had the moral fortitude to accept responsibility for Jordan McNair’s death,” Brown said in a statement, “and I believe he will continue to act boldly and guide the Athletic Department to a safer, more sustainable future that students, student-athletes, and the University of Maryland family can be proud of.”
» McNair’s father said after the announcement that he felt that “some justice has been served.”
» Some public figures said that more firings needed to be made: namely, Board of Regents chair James Brady and athletic director Damon Evans. Billy Murphy, a lawyer for the McNair family, called for Brady’s firing, as did gubernatorial hopeful Ben Jealous. Jealous also said Evans should be canned.
"The Athletics Department needs a new start. Plain and simple,” Jealous said in a statement. "If Larry Hogan believes his Board of Regents Chair made a mistake when it came to ensuring the safety of our student athletes, then how can he in good conscience leave Brady in power? The governor absolutely has the power to remove his appointee from the Board of Regents and should do so immediately."
» McNair’s teammate, Ellis McKennie, posted on Twitter that “It’s crazy what a little pressure will do.”
» Maryland alum Will Klajbor, 22, said he was pleasantly surprised that the school had taken such swift action in firing Durkin, but predicted that the scandal and backlash would have a lasting impact.
”I think that in the end the university seems to be doing the right thing. … I think its gonna take a lot of time for the school as an institution to regain the trust of students and alumni.”
» Jeff Ermann of 247Sports said the school had underestimated backlash to its initial decision to keep Durkin on staff.
» ABC 7 News sports reporter Scott Abraham said the school had handled the situation badly from a PR perspective.