Maryland Football: Students Should Press to Make Durkin Firing ‘For-Cause’

Maryland’s students, and its Student-Government Association, are debating the posture they should assume relative to the firing of Coach D.J. Durkin, and how to support the football players.

Because those students collectively contribute $12 million annually to the Athletic Department, the students have the right to object to the firing of former coach D.J. Durkin without cause — which will apparently, cost the school some $7 million. (A for-cause firing would cost the school nothing.)

Durkin was on premises at the time when, between 4 p.m and 6 p.m.: 1) the football team held its first practice; 2) Jordan McNair began his ten 110-yard sprints; 3) McNair collapsed after his seventh sprint; 4) McNair was hauled off the field; 5) McNair suddenly, an hour after he collapsed, began screaming at those gathered around him; and 6) 911 was called and responded, and took him to the hospital.

If D.J. Durkin did not have, at a minimum, standing instructions to any trainer or coach that, if any player remained in a coma, delerium, or other near-unconscious state for more than 20 minutes, he should be immediately be notified, then he is at least partially, if not substantially at fault for McNair’s death. And no evidence has been uncovered that Durkin had any such ‘Immediate-Notification’ mandate for his staffers.

Durkin should have been fired for-cause — and Maryland’s failure to do so was facilitated by its spending of a substantial portion of the $12 million annual funding which Maryland students provide to its athletic department. The students have moral and financial standing to press this issue with the school president — and to also take to a student referendum whether the student body favors the annual $406 ‘athletic fee’ which is assessed upon each of them.

About brewonsouthu

lawyer, with interest in college sports and NCAA oversight and decisions, and sports generally.
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