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The chaos of the University of Maryland is rooted in high sporting goals



Six years ago, the University of Maryland enthusiastically announced that it had leapt to become one of the nation's most powerful sports conferences, a move that promised its promise of wealth and prestige.

The Gambit This Week On three turbulent days when the president announced his retirement, the spectacular exploded, the football coach was dismissed, and the chairman of the university council resigned.

The trigger was the death of a football player named Jordan McNair from the June Heatstroke after an exhausting practice on a hot spring day.

The resulting controversy became a power struggle fueled by tremendous financial and political pressure. And above all that hovered the death of a 19-year-old and the question of who should be held accountable at the University of Maryland.

Eventually, the week's turmoil created tensions among those trying to protect a large college student sports program and those who feared that treating the death of McNair would seriously damage the university's image, and a fundraiser in $ 1.5 billion was aimed at raising the academic status of the school.

"We involved politicians, students and the public wondering what's going on," said Mike Freiman, former president of the Terrapin Club, a sports fundraising organization.

Under the University President, Wallace D. Loh , a threesome was held, football coach DJ Durkin, and Board of Regents political chairman James T. Brady At the end of the week, Mr Durkin and Mr Brady were over, and Mr Loh was sent to the end of the academic year Retirement.

The governor, Larry Hogan, a Republican seeking a re-election in a magazine Blue State, also entered the fight as public pressure increased, the university's donors were increasingly infuriated and his Democratic challenger denouncing his inaction, Governor Hogan expressed his displeasure at how the board handled the crisis.

On Tuesday, anger grew after the board had announced, as Mr. Loh looked clearly annoyed, that Mr. Durkin would remain the trainer of the school despite a very critical account of the culture of the football program.

Mr. Loh, who had been pushing to move to the Big Ten, wanted to dismiss Mr. Durkin, but was overruled by the board under Mr. Brady's leadership.

Despite this, public outrage over Durkin holding his job during his term of office Next year, he would leave, encouraging Mr. Loh to reject the wishes of the Board and to fire Mr. Durkin on Wednesday. Mr. Brady resigned the next day after losing the support of Governor Hogan, whose campaign he had conducted in 2014.

This last maneuver report is based on interviews with more than a dozen people close to the process. most people refused to be identified because they were not allowed to speak publicly about private conversations. The representatives Loh and Durkin rejected this.

At the end of last week, the 17-member board met at the headquarters of the Maryland University System in Baltimore. It gradually received Mr. Loh, Damon Evans, the athletic director, and Mr. Durkin.

The meeting was designed to resolve a crisis that began with Mr. McNair's death and broke out in August after an ESPN article which presented the program as a program in which employees humiliated and harassed players in a manner that was ineffective big college football has fallen out of favor.

Following this ESPN report, the university dropped two sports coaches and reached an agreement on the resignation of strength coach Rick Court, who was featured in the article as the leader of a "poisonous culture."

The report also noted that some players were familiar with the intense style of Mr. Durkin and the fact that Mr. Court was one of his first employees.

The university's football program investigation was officially released this week. But the board got it in last week when he met with Mr. Loh, Mr. Durkin, and Mr. Evans.

The report partly blamed Mr. Durkin but partially divorced him and characterized the first-time head coach – hired after the 2015 season when he was just 37 years old – as surpassed in his new job. He also said that he had not received enough support from the sports department or university, given Maryland's ambitious ambitions in his new conference.

Maryland had left the basketball-oriented Atlantic Coast Conference, her longtime sporting home, for the Big Ten. which emphasizes football in one step that could ultimately bring in tens of millions more dollars.

"Mr. Durkin was huddled and given the task of turning a struggling football program into a big-ten contender with fewer financial resources and fan support than other conference programs. "The report said."

After reading the report, the majority of the board was in favor of ending Mr. Loh's term as president, and the board's plans reported to Mr. Loh, who asked for an opportunity to present his case. [19659009SpeakingtotheBoardlastweekMrLohwarnedthatasuddenchangeofleadershipwoulddestabilizetheuniversityhealsoarguedthathecouldhelpimplementthechangesrecommendedinthereportandwarnedthatthemaintenanceofMrDurkinwasthecauseofthechangeDurkinspokelaterandwasconvincinginseveralreportsbeingamemberoftwoofcollegefootball'sbestcoachesUrbanMeyerofOhioStateandJimHarbaughofMichiganafterservingwiththeboardHehaddecidednottofirehim

On Monday, the board had decided that both Mr. Durkin and Mr. Evans would stay too. However, the Board has no authority to hire or dismiss other than the President's staff. So Mr. Loh, who wanted to finish a majority, had to be the one who was to retain Messrs. Durkin and Evans . Instead of being fired immediately, Mr. Loh retired at the end of the academic year in June. On Wednesday, on which his future seemed safe, Mr. Durkin had several meetings with the department heads and the dean of the university's government and the executive committee of the faculty's senate. He overseen his first practice for almost three months, although on the campus over the stay of Mr. Loh and the departure of Mr. Loh a growing noise arose. Students held a rally while political leaders and even the head of the University Foundation, a major fundraiser, expressed disapproval.

When Governor Hogan – who has appointed many regents – and, if the elections are right, to win re-election and appoint more – joined the opposition to Mr. Durkin's whereabouts, the situation seemed untenable.