HAGERSTOWN, Md. (WJZ) — As the public awaits to see the results of an independent report into the alleged toxic culture within University of Maryland’s football program, university president Wallace Loh has a tough decision to make about head coach DJ Durkin.
Durkin is accused of running his team with “fear and intimidation” in the wake of University of Maryland football player Jordan McNair’s death.
The eight-member panel including former Gov. Bob Ehrlich investigated allegations that coaches used fear and intimidation against players and subjected them to extreme verbal abuse.
There were accusations weights were thrown at players, and they were dragged off the ground if they could not complete workouts.
The University of Maryland’s Board of Regents saw the independent report Friday.
“We want to give the Board a few days to review the report and digest it,” said Chancellor Robert Caret. Caret said the Regents would make “appropriate recommendations.
The governing body went into closed session for its review
Durkin has been on administrative leave for more than two months. Matt Canada is the interim head coach.
The report details the alleged toxic culture at the University of Maryland, including verbal abuse, weights thrown at players, players dragged off the ground who couldn’t complete workouts.
University President Wallace Loh said Friday he has confidence in the investigative process.
“It’s a very careful process,” Loh said. “There are good people on the commission and I’m eager to find out the results as soon as they become available.”
Loh will have to decide if Durkin keeps his job. But for now, he said he has no comment.
The university ordered the independent investigation after the death of 19-year-old freshman offensive lineman McNair, who collapsed during a preseason practice and died of heat stroke in May.
McNair’s father has called for Durkin’s firing.
A separate investigation found failures in how the school handled the emergency — waiting an hour to call 911 after McNair’s first symptoms.
While the regents have seen the report, it has not yet been made public.
Loh said the school takes moral and legal responsibility in McNair’s death.
The University System of Maryland issued this statement outlining the timeline for future actions:
“The board will meet again in closed session at 9:00 am on Tuesday, October 23 at the Columbus Center in Baltimore to discuss the investigation results and begin the process of making any decisions necessary to safeguard the wellbeing of student-athletes at UMCP and at public universities across Maryland. No media availabilities or statements are expected during or after Tuesday’s special session.
Within one week following the October 23 special session, the USM expects to publicly share findings from the independent commission investigation and to announce any initial decisions and/or recommendations from the board.
‘We have said from the beginning that, if true, the allegations related to the culture of the football program at the University of Maryland, College Park are unacceptable,’ said USM Board of Regents Chair James T. Brady. ‘We have also said we are determined to get all the facts possible before acting.’
‘While the final stage of that process begins on October 19th, members of the board will need appropriate time to study the findings, ask follow-up questions, come to conclusions, and consider any potential outcomes,’ Brady continued. ‘As public servants, we have an obligation to take the time necessary to get this right. Once the board has had the time it needs to review the findings, the information will be shared with people of Maryland in a fully transparent fashion.’”