COLLEGE PARK, Md. (WJZ) — The fallout continues on the University of Maryland campus, one day after the board of regents announced their recommendations to keep head football coach DJ Durkin and athletic director Damon Evans following the death of Jordan McNair.
Just days after an explosive report on the University of Maryland football program was released, change is coming to the university.
The University System of Maryland Board of Regent released the findings earlier this week after a months-long investigation that was sparked by the death of football player Jordan McNair.
On Tuesday, it was announced that head coach Durkin and the school’s athletic director will keep their jobs.
The university president announced he will retire, but first implement reforms to protect students and athletes.
The head football coach for UMD was back to work on Tuesday, and the university president was planning his departure.
That only heightened the controversy on campus.
It took more than 300 pages for the board of regents to conclude the culture of UMD’s college football program is troubling, but not toxic.
Top offices are shifting in the wake of the report being released.
Terps head coach DJ Durkin will be back on the sidelines for Saturday’s game against Michigan St., after being placed on administrative leave on Aug. 11.
Offensive coordinator Matt Canada has been the interim coach, and the team is 5-3 so far this season.
University of Maryland President Wallace Loh has announced he will step down.
Loh plans to retire at the end of this school year, even though the regents recommendation that he, Durkin, and the school’s athletic director split the blame for problems within the program, but keep their jobs.
“All three individuals understand and have accepted that they share responsibility for the dysfunction within the athletic department,” said Jim Brady, chairman of the board.
Dysfunction that proved deadly in June, after 19-year-old Jordan McNair suffered from a heatstroke at football practice and died days later.
The university later ordered the investigation into how the team was being run.
McNair’s parents asked for Durkin to be fired. Tuesday’s announced that Durkin would be reinstated left them reeling.
“I feel like I’ve been punched in the stomach, and somebody spit in my face,” McNair’s father, Marty, said.
In the report, the behavior of some coaches and staff aligns with inside accounts of the program that have surfaced since McNair’s death.
The regents say they believe one of the specialty coaches had “the best interests of the players at heart,” but added that he “engaged in abusive conduct” by “attempting to humiliate players in front of their teammates by throwing food, weights and on one occasion, a trash can full of vomit.”
Wednesday, some students said the report feels inconclusive.
“I don’t know if what they did is necessarily going to result in change,” Maryland student Greg Cohen said.
Others say it will only widen the divide between athletics and academics.
“It just shows how we value the school’s image over the actual lives of the students,” student Sage Levy added.
About a thousand students are expected to rally on campus Thursday afternoon. They say they will demand justice for Jordan McNair, saying they are outraged with the regents report.