University System of MD board chairman to step down ; UMCP students rally
BALTIMORE (WBFF) - James Brady, the chairman of the University System of Maryland's Board of Regents, has resigned amid controversy over the board's decision to reinstate embattled football coach D.J. Durkin following the heat-related death of player Jordan McNair.
The announcement follows a closed-door special meeting late Thursday of the Board of Regents at its Baltimore office.
Following the meeting, the board released a statement from Brady in which he said he would step down from the Board of Regents immediately.
The board faced severe criticism after it announced Tuesday it recommended that Coach Durkin be reinstated to head coach.
The University of Maryland hosts Michigan State on Saturday in College Park.
But when Durkin returned to the team Wednesday, several players walked out of practice in protest.
In a statement, Brady said: "For the past three years, I have had the honor and privilege of helping to lead an incomparable group of highly talented and dedicated public servants, working collectively to support and improve Maryland's system of higher education."
But in his statement, Brady added: "In recent days, I have become the public face of both the board and its decision related to these matters. In my estimation, my continued presence on the board will inhibit its ability to move Maryland's higher education agenda forward. And I have no interest in serving as a distraction from that important work."
In a statement, Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan thanked Brady for his service on the Board of Regents as well as his "many years of distinguished public service under three governors of both parties."
But the governor "believes that the university system must move forward in an open and transparent manner to restore public trust in Maryland's flagship university."
Before Brady's announcement, the governor told reporters he was "shocked and disappointed by the decision of the Board of Regents. I have no idea how they arrived at their recommendations [to reinstate Coach Durkin]."
Maryland's Athletic Director Damon Evans remains in his job, but State Comptroller Peter Franchot is calling for Evans to resign or be fired because he "was obviously accountable or should be held accountable."
Meanwhile, UMCP students were rallying outside the administration building on their campus, a day after the announcement that athletic director DJ Durkin would also be leaving.
The day just before that, UMD President Wallace Loh announced his plans to step down, but said Durkin would be staying.