BALTIMORE, Md. — The University System of Maryland Board of Regents is recommending that Maryland retain football coach DJ Durkin and athletics director Damon Evans following an investigation into allegations of abuse within Durkin’s program, sources tell ESPN. Maryland president Wallace Loh is expected to announce Tuesday that he will retire in June.
Board chair James Brady is expected to announce the recommendations and discuss the report’s findings at a 3:30 p.m. ET news conference in Baltimore. The USM regents only have the authority to fire Loh and debated his job status for several weeks. Loh is expected to retain both Durkin, on paid administrative leave since August, and Evans, who Loh appointed as athletics director in July.
“The Board of Regents insisted that D.J. return, and this has been their highest priority,” a source with knowledge of the situation told ESPN. “Some regents appeared to be obsessed with it. The problem is they don’t have the authority to hire and fire DJ but they made it clear that is their main priority here. Because they can’t hire and fire anybody, which they finally realized, they told Wallace Loh that they wanted him to bring DJ back and the clear message was that if Loh was not willing to bring DJ back right away they would fire [Loh] immediately and then see who the acting president was and get that person to [retain Durkin].”
Durkin and two athletic trainers, Wes Robinson and Steve Nordwall, have been on administrative leave since Aug. 11, a day after an ESPN report about allegations of abuse within the football program. An investigation commissioned by the Board of Regents found no “toxic culture” within the football program but detailed many troubling issues.
“This is really at the board’s insistence,” the source said. “This is really not Dr. Loh’s decision.”
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