What they're saying about Maryland football fallout: Anger that Evans, Durkin will stay and Loh will retire

The University System of Maryland’s governing body has recommended that University of Maryland keep athletic director Damon Evans and head football coach DJ Durkin in their positions.

But embattled president Wallace Loh — who reportedly expressed deep reservations about letting Durkin return to the sidelines — will retire at the end of the school year.

This announcement comes after the death of offensive lineman Jordan McNair and a damning investigation into the university’s football program.

Here’s what McNair’s family, politicians, alumni and sports writers had to say about the news:

» McNair’s father, Marty, slammed the regents for keeping Durkin on.

“I feel like I’ve been punched in the stomach and somebody spit in my face.”

» McNair’s teammate, Ellis McKennie, lamented that no one would be held accountable in his death.

» Prince Georges County Executive Rushern Baker said he was “appalled” by the decision, adding that Loh had done a “phenomenal job” as president.

“I was watching the press conference from home and I could not believe what I heard. The football coach should stay and the president should leave? What world are we living in?”

» State Sen. Jim Rosapepe, a former member of the board of regents, urged Loh to reconsider.

“I understand the back room athletic program politics which led President Loh to offer his retirement. But he should stay and I’m urging him to do so. Academics need to come first. His decision can and should be reversed.”

» Del. Erek Barron, a Prince George’s County Democrat, criticized the process and praised Loh’s tenure.

“The university system had a teachable moment and they failed … Ultimately it just seems like football takes precedence over academics.”

»Democratic gubernatorial nominee Ben Jealous said the news made the University of Maryland “a national embarrassment” and that Durkin and Evans both deserved to be fired. He praised Loh for taking responsibility for the athletics department’s mistakes, and called on Gov. Larry Hogan to intervene.

"If the Regents won't do the right thing on their own, Governor Hogan — who appointed the vast majority of the current Board — should step in and call on them to fire Evans and Durkin."

» Several people who said they were University of Maryland alumni expressed their disappointment with the school.

» One threatened to withhold donations.

» Another person called for intervention by the National Collegiate Athletic Association.

» Another called the news “remarkable.”

» Writer and coach Dominique Warren called the news “a smack to the face.”

» Jeff Ermann, of 247Sports, said Durkin would have a “tall hill to climb” upon his return.

» ABC 7 News sports reporter Scott Abraham called the news “incredible.”

» Yahoo Sports’ Pat Forde calls the decision-making “shocking.”

“D.J. Durkin is, unfathomably, still the Maryland football coach — although if another kid dies, by golly, that’s where they draw the line.”

ctkacik@baltsun.com

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