BALTIMORE (WJZ) — ESPN anchor and Maryland alumnus Scott Van Pelt took time out of his midnight SportsCenter show to address the University System of Maryland Board of Regent’s decision to keep football coach DJ Durkin and athletic director Damon Evans following the death of offensive lineman Jordan McNair.
Van Pelt expressed his disappointment with the decision, saying he wished he was “prouder” of the university after the board’s decision.
He spoke for more than 90 seconds on the topic, and questioned the “political agendas” of the board, adding these are “issues the university has struggled with for years.”
Van Pelt said that he had “no idea” how Durkin is supposed to return as head football coach.
“I love Maryland. It’s my university, and that’s no secret. I wish I were prouder of it today, 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. Through it all, the young men who play for Maryland, who have no fault in any of this, have gone out and fought for each other and honored themselves and their fallen teammate. They won five games, they beat Texas, they got a home game Saturday against Michigan State with a chance to become bowl eligible. They deserve praise, they deserve support for the resolve they have shown in the face of all this uncertainty. And I hope they get it, because they have been remarkable. This process has been remarkable too, but for far, far different reasons.”