The University of Maryland Head Football Coach DJ Durkin has been fired, according to a UMD spokesperson.
— Shawn Stepner (@StepnerWMAR) October 31, 2018
The news comes after the University System of Maryland Board of Regents announced on Tuesday they would reinstate Durkin as head coach of the football program. Durkin's position was in jeopardy after one of his players, Jordan McNair, died two weeks after suffering a heat stroke during football practice.
On Wednesday, UMD President Wallace Loh said since returning to campus, the overwhelming majority of stakeholders expressed serious concerns about Durkin. He said firing Durkin was a difficult decision, but it is the right one for the university. Loh said he will devote the remaining months of his presidency to advancing the needed reforms in the athletic department that prioritize the safety and well-being of the student-athletes.
University of Maryland students expressed their outrage and disgust about the board's decision.
Maryland Governor Larry Hogan also shared a statement on the board's decision saying:
“I am deeply troubled by the lack of transparency from the Board of Regents, and deeply concerned about how they could have possibly arrived at the decisions announced yesterday,” Hogan’s statement read. “I share the concerns of many Marylanders and believe very strongly that more must be done to restore the public trust. I am calling on both the University System of Maryland Board of Regents and President Wallace Loh to reconsider their decisions and to schedule a public hearing to address these issues in an open and transparent manner.”
On Thursday morning, Martin and his attorney Hassan Murphy went on Good Morning America to talk about their thoughts on Durkin's firing.
"Relief, surprise, a level of gratitude that the right thing was done so far,” explained Martin. He continued to say this action changes his punched in the gut feeling he had before, and he still does not believe his son's death was an isolated case.
“The main goal moving forward at this point is to bring some type of awareness and prevention so everyone can see that this doesn’t happen again because it was 100 percent preventable,” Martin said.
Murphy added on that they spoke with dozens of current and former football players in the organization, and they all say there was a toxic culture, one that coach Durkin did not stop.
“Our fight now is about getting justice for this family and for Jordan’s name and memory,” Murphy said.