Obviously, we have learned nothing from this.
According to Rick Maese, sports writer for the Washington Post, DJ Durkin seems to be a lot safer than we all originally thought.
On top of this, AD Damon Evans is also expected to be recommended to keep his job, and one would imagine University president Wallace Loh will keep his title as well. What does this mean? It means that in the light of a death of a student-athlete, only one man is truly punished: Strength and Conditioning coach Rick Court. And even Court was given a settlement when he resigned from his position earlier this summer.
As for Durkin, it looks like he will be able to step back in as head coach very soon. The Terrapins, currently 5-3 have been playing well under interim coach Matt Canada. With Durkin’s return, Canada will slide back into his OC role, though he should get HC looks in the offseason.
Many will likely see this as an injustice for Jordan McNair. When an athlete dies over something avoidable, more heads should roll. Durkin, who as shown in previous reports, knew of, and participated in, the bullying, keeps his job.
Is It Over?
It is, however, hard to believe there will not be a sense of karmic justice here. These events will likely lead to a permanent black mark on all three men’s careers. Damon Evans has had his troubles in the past, and this will not help his image. If Durkin, who to some was on the hot seat, tanks the rest of the season when he returns, there will be some who question why he should lead the program instead of Canada, who has had a successful season.
Where this might hurt Maryland most though, is recruiting. Yes, a lot of players stuck up for Durkin, but a lot also criticized him, especially with some damning accounts in last week’s report. As parents, many people will now think twice about sending their kid to Maryland, now with a known culture of bullying and the death of an athlete. As a prospective player, one will have to look at Maryland and see if the program has truly changed, or if the same culture issues still fester beneath the surface.
Yes, Durkin, Evans, and Loh might all keep their jobs. However, it seems the board of regents does not make the final decision. As Maese says, the administration of College Park has the final say. Maybe they will surprise us. In this day and age, that is easy to doubt. However, one thing is for certain, Maryland has a stain on the entire university that will not wash away for a long time.
As always, if you want to talk sports or just yell at me, I’m on twitter @JacobtheManley