ESPN anchor Scott Van Pelt addressed on “SportsCenter” early Wednesday morning the University System of Maryland Board of Regents’ decision to retain football coach DJ Durkin and athletic director Damon Evans in the wake of the scandal surrounding lineman Jordan McNair’s death.
Van Pelt, a 1988 Maryland graduate, questioned the “political agendas and fiefdoms, tug-of-wars that only served to further fracture, not strengthen, the university” in the months after McNair’s death while offering praise for the Terps’ football players on the cusp of reaching their first bowl game since 2016.
This is not the first time Van Pelt has addressed the controversy surrounding the program after McNair’s heatstroke death. In August, he closed his “SportsCenter” broadcast with personal commentary on his alma mater. In September, he weighed in on the allegations of the program’s “toxic” culture on “The Kevin Sheehan Show” podcast.
“I love Maryland. It’s my university, and that’s no secret. I wish I were prouder of it today,” Van Pelt said Wednesday. “I can say that issues the university has struggled with for years were all on display throughout this process. Political agendas and fiefdoms, tug-of-wars that only served to further fracture, not strengthen, the university.
“I kept waiting for the adults to arrive and move in a direction with clarity and purpose. By all accounts, for the months this internal review has gone on and the regents have met, clarity is something that was never attained. In fact, it only seemed to become harder to find the longer it went on. It’s complicated in ways that can’t easily be described and are only remedied when you start over and hit the reset button. But that’s not what the Board of Regents has decided. Instead, they’ve recommended that Durkin be reinstated as coach. I have no idea how he’s supposed to do that. I have no idea if he even wants to. It’s clear president Wallace Loh was not supportive of this decision, and here we are.”