Maryland's Handling of D.J. Durkin is a Lesson How Not to do P.R
So, the University of Maryland finally did the right thing and fired D.J. Durkin less than 48-hours after announcing he'd be returning to the job as Football Head Coach...
It may---or may not have been prompted, by this:
And yes, Loh is being praised for "Doing the right thing", "making a stand" among other things---but the question I have (and a ton of others have) is: Why are we even at this point?
Seriously, I mentioned this the other day and so many others said the exact same thing: "What the hell was the Board thinking by reinstating Durkin in the first place?"
After an extensive, 192-page investigation revealed Durkin lacked control and oversight on his own program and while didn't lay blame for McNair's death at his feet, it questioned the atmosphere, culture and operations of the football program.
By firing Durkin "Without Cause", the school essentially committed to paying him what they owed him, roughly $5.1 million to essentially go away. But the question many have is this: Can he sue the school? Especially after they just decided to reinstate him....
Can he sue? Yes. Should he sue? Probably not, it would further tarnish his already damaged reputation and more than likely end his ability to coach an NCAA Football team (yes, it's black balling though nobody will call it that). Does he have a case? Questionable.
The always excellent Michael McCann of SI.com has a great legal explainer you can read HERE
Yes, Loh probably opens himself up to be relieved of duty before his previously announced retirement date in 2019, though I suspect he doesn't care at this point. Loh was visibly shaken at the announcement of Durkin's reinstatement and never actually mentioned his name.
And no, Loh is no "Hero" in this bizarre, poorly handled case. He eventually did the right thing---but the question I have--and so many others have is: Why go through the "Reinstatement" press conference in the first place?
Anyway, I'll finish with the one unanswered question in all of this: Why is Athletic Director Damon Evans still employed there. As I stated previously, I know Evans from his time at the University of Georgia and he's not a bad person. But clearly he's either out of touch with what is going on with the football program or complicit in what went on.
Which arguably could justify him being tossed too...
But is Maryland PR savvy enough to do it? I'm thinking no....
Maybe the had a "Public Relations" firm involved in this whole process, maybe they didn't, I don't know. But this whole situation was botched from the get-go. Students, Alumni, Professors, Administrators and pretty much everyone not on the Board of Regents were pretty adamant Durkin needed to go.
Yet that initially didn't happen.
Now Maryland looks like a bunch of buffoons. A bunch of incompetent bureaucrats---tone deaf to pretty much everyone.
In other words---they come off looking like a group Moronic Idiots---or like politicians because they are roughly the same thing...