Was The Death of Jordan McNair… “hurting recruiting” at Maryland?

November01/ 2018

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Univ Maryland Mess – was it “hurting recruiting?”


If this website is your prime source for what to think about pretty much everything; whether by taking my sage advice or by doing a 180… in following this week’s Big Mess Up at Maryland…

Raise your hand if the phrase Coach, is this hurting recruiting? immediately came to mind.

I see a lot of hands in the air. Of course you recalled that memorable query from UNCCH Trustee Barbara Rosser-Hyde to “The Butcher” as Affair de Marvin swirled about Ye Olde Well.

I rate Governor Jim Martin’s – I figured Coach Williams was too busy to take 15 minutes to talk to me.  as Numero Uno line of that period… but Trustee Rosser-Hyde’s concern was definitely one I’ll never forget. Howabout you?


Recapping the OMG… WHAT THE HELL that is going on up at College Park…. LINK


The Maryland Board of Regents – I have no clue what a “regent” is… one of those goofy titles that High Academia makes up – ruled on Tuesday that beleaguered, much maligned and previously suspended Head Football Coach DJ Durkin would NOT be fired and could immediately return to active duty as Maryland’s #1 Leader of Male Student-Athletes.

DJ Durkin was formerly a top assistant for both Urban Meyer and Jim Harbaugh which is coincidentally relevant… if you want it to be.

Durkin’s reinstatement created CHAOS of such a decibel level that it made “above-the-fold” headlines at the nearby Washington Post. Edging out WaPo’s normal Headline – “Trump Probably Did Something Evil Today, But We’re Not Sure What, Yet”.


NOTE: Last May, a U of Maryland football player – Jordan McNair – died following an especially grueling football work-out. The circumstances of his death produced a lot of finger-pointing, responsibility-dodging and, as is usually the case, the firing of several low-level functionaries who were deemed expendable and could not afford high-priced legal representation.


Firing of low-level functionaries is a corollary to the Blame a Walk-on Rule when a gang of football players do something heinous, as they so often do, make sure there is a “walk-on” in the gang and lay all the blame on him.

The highest placed firee was the Strength & Conditioning Coach who, of course, got a $300,000 severance buy-out for overseeing McNair’s torture and subsequent death. I wonder if Torquemada received such a buy-out for his role in The Inquisition? …  He (fired Strength Coach) is now probably running a chain of Cross Fit gyms on Maryland’s Eastern Shore

DJ Durkin’s REinstatement, alas, was shorter than Larry Brown’s tenure as Head MBB Coach at Davidson. There is one for real trivia buffs.

Within 24 hours of his reinstatement, DJ was unceremoniously UNreinstated – As of Wednesday PM… DJ Durkin has been fired as U of Maryland’s #1 Leader of Young Student-Athletes of The Football Variety.

If DJ’s employment status continues to change we will certainly let you know.  Durkin will likley “sue” because all fired coaches “sue”.  Rick Pitino can recommend a lawyer.

Twixt DJ’s reinstatement on Tuesday and unceremonial firing onFy McHenry Wednesday, the U. of Maryland was under siege not experienced since 1812 when  the British fired on Fort McHenry as Francis Scott Key and Colin Kaepernick looked on.

Every elected politician and his/her opponent in Maryland and contiguous states weighed in as well as ever how many foul-mouthed Terrapin board monkeys there are.  Haven’t heard if former Terps Randy White and Boomer Esiason weighed in but probably.

Meanwhile, I was hearing from various acquainti nationally and locally. Perhaps the consummate comment was:

“BL, this makes UNC’s board seem almost competent by comparison.” Emphasis on the “almost”.

No one seems to know why the Maryland Regents ever reinstated DJ Durkin. His coaching record at Maryland was mediocre at best and his interim replacement – former NC State Assistant Matt Canada – was doing as well as Maryland is ever likely to do in The Big Ten which is mediocre at best. But reinstate DJ they did.

Perhaps The Regents wanted publicity both collectively and individually in the way that Barbara Rosser-Hyde was memorialized around UNC for her infamous query to The Butcher?

  • The Number One reason people lobby (often quite aggressively) to be on University advisory oversight boards is “it looks cool on a resume and/or obituary”.
  • The Number Two reason is it carries with it “strutting cred”. When a “Regent”… “Trustee”… “Governor” et al walks into his/her country club dining room for Sunday brunch with their family, someone presumably mutters “Hey look… there is (insert name). I think he/she is a “regent / trustee / etc.” … Maitre ‘de smile a bit broader and waiters are quicker to pour coffee and suggest “the Eggs Benedicts are excellent today”.

NOT on the list of reasons “why be a regent” is being collectively pilloried and obscenely assailed on every sports website, fan board and twitter feed in North America.

CNN and its dastardly ilk, of course, immediately blamed Donald Trump but did list Maryland Board of Regents as co-conspirators.

If Maryland Regents have special license plates or lapel pins, I bet none of’er are driving that car or wearing their pins today.

Every Maryland Regent is likely doing “a Peter in the Garden” this week.

“No, I’m not that James Brady the Maryland Regents Chairman. I’m another James Brady. Now can I have my grande latte, please.”


A young man died because “the football culture” at Maryland overseen by former Head Coach DJ Durkin encouraged excessive coaching / training methods. “Excessive” to the point of “deadly”.


Maryland is not the first / only such case of such “a toxic culture” in Big Time College Football.  Nor is this instance likely to cause other similar “toxic cultures” to detoxify themselves. Don’t be that naive.

Are you thinking “Well, that is terrible. I’m certainly glad it’s not like that at “my school”.   You know it isn’t How? Because “your school” has “a Way”? Oh!

Are you sure about the inner workings of that “way”?  Sure enough to stake your personal reputation on it? Barbra Rosser-Hyde apparently was at UNC. Now BR-H is “a punchline” in addition to still being a UNC Trustee and wife of the founder of Auto Zone.


If YOU were…

a Regent or a Trustee or a Poobah or whatever title at your Alma Mater, would you be a no-nonsense steward of whatever lofty standards your institution boasts it stands for? … wink, wink, giggle, snort.

Or would you be more concerned…. Is this hurting recruiting, Coach?

Not asking for a show of hands.  It’s a rhetorical question.


Next Time


LOTS MORE BobLeeSays as well as Deep Thoughts & Awesome Tweets?  LINK


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