“You just made a decision to keep him. If that’s your decision, if you believe that’s what’s right for the program, then it shouldn’t matter what I say, what social media says,” the 2007 Heisman Trophy winner said on ESPN’s “First Take.” “So many people want to be liked instead of being respected, and I think more universities need to stand by what they believe is right.”
Durkin was fired Wednesday, part of a whirlwind week when the university announced he was staying, only to change course the following day when school president Wallace Loh fired him. Board of Regents chairman Jim Brady, who had advocated for Durkin and defended the decision to keep him, then resigned Thursday. Loh has said he will retire at the end of the academic year.
The initial decision on Durkin brought widespread criticism, which Tebow said shouldn’t influence decision makers.
“People say, ‘Oh, it’s not popular, let me switch,’ ” he said. “Who cares about being popular? Have respect. Stand up for what you believe in.”
Tebow blamed social media: “Too many people in our day and age just want to be liked and have all the social media — let me tell you something, social media is never going to like you.”
Tebow hedged about whether he thought keeping Durkin was the right call.
“I’m not saying their decision was right,” he said, “but they need to have courage to say, ‘You know what, I’d rather be respected than liked.’ ”