Heather DinichESPN Senior Writer
More than two months after he was placed on administrative leave, the future of Maryland coach DJ Durkin remains uncertain, and the results of an investigation into the culture of the football program will not be made public for at least another week, according to a news release Wednesday from the University System of Maryland.
On Friday, the USM board of regents will be briefed for the first time on the results of the investigation, but the regularly scheduled meeting in Hagerstown, Maryland, will occur in closed session and there no media availabilities or statements are expected. The board will meet again in closed session at 9 a.m. ET on Tuesday at the Columbus Center in Baltimore to discuss the results “and begin the process of making any decisions necessary to safeguard the wellbeing of student-athletes at UMCP (University of Maryland, College Park) and at public universities across Maryland.”
There are also no media opportunities or statements expected Tuesday. Within one week following the Tuesday special session, the USM is expected to publicly share the findings and to announce any initial decisions “and/or recommendations from the board,” according to the release.
“We have said from the beginning that, if true, the allegations related to the culture of the football program at the University of Maryland, College Park are unacceptable,” USM board of regents chair James T. Brady said in a prepared statement. “We have also said we are determined to get all the facts possible before acting.”
“While the final stage of that process begins on October 19th, members of the board will need appropriate time to study the findings, ask follow-up questions, come to conclusions, and consider any potential outcomes,” Brady said. “As public servants, we have an obligation to take the time necessary to get this right. Once the board has had the time it needs to review the findings, the information will be shared with people of Maryland in a fully transparent fashion.”
On Aug. 10, ESPN reported that Maryland’s football coaches presided over a “toxic culture” under Durkin, characterized by verbal abuse, name-calling and bullying. On Aug. 11, Durkin was placed on paid administrative leave pending an investigation of the allegations. The same day, Maryland announced it would commission an eight-person group to investigate the allegations — the second investigation following the death of 19-year-old offensive lineman Jordan McNair on June 13.
On Sept. 21, an independent investigation into McNair’s death concluded the university was culpable in the player’s death. McNair died June 13, after suffering heatstroke during an offseason workout May 29.
One parent, who spoke to ESPN’s Adam Rittenberg on the condition of anonymity, said the parents are divided into three groups.
“Some don’t want to say anything because they weren’t there and [they say], ‘My son wasn’t really involved,'” the parent said. “And then there are parents who are super pro-Durkin who say, ‘This hasn’t happened to me before.’ And then there’s parents who are angry. But it’s a very difficult situation to be in because if Durkin is reinstated and those parents come out openly, their kids are done.”