Maryland Players Don't Want Durkin Back

A source told Baltimore's 105.7 host Mike Popovec that Maryland players do not want D.J. Durkin to return as head coach

After Hours With Amy Lawrence
August 16, 2018 - 9:39 am

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The University of Maryland has taken responsibility for the June death of offensive lineman Jordan McNair, who died of heatstroke. The university parted ways with strength and conditioning coach Rick Court, while head coach D.J. Durkin remains on paid leave.

One must wonder what Maryland’s players are thinking right now.

“I had a source tell me that they are certainly glad that Durkin is not a part of things right now, and they don’t want him back,” Baltimore’s 105.7 host Mike Popovec told Zach Gelb, who was filling in as host of After Hours with Amy Lawrence. “They are certainly very bothered by Rick Court and the way he conducted himself. They’re not happy with the situation. . . . I think with Durkin not there, with Court not there, things are a lot different. But clearly players were not very happy with the situation.

“I think the younger guys were in flux, like, ‘What do we do? We bought into what Durkin sold us on, and this culture is not necessarily what we thought we were going to get.’ For the older guys, I guess they just hung on and figured, ‘Well, we’ll ride it out.’ But I think the McNair thing has certainly emboldened folks to at least anonymously go on the record.”

Popovec does pre- and post-game reports on Maryland football.

“I don’t travel with the team,” he said. “I try to get to practice, but they are somewhat closed off, though. The media doesn’t have as great of access as maybe some other programs for various reasons. That’s just the way that Durkin conducts his program. Maybe we know why, but I just think he’s more of a private-type coach who doesn’t necessarily like all the media involvement. 

“But (I talked) to some really good sources, especially one that is not surprised by this,” Popovec continued. “Clearly the McNair situation has emboldened folks to talk and has really blown up the situation. This is a very critical year for the Maryland program – or was going to be for Durkin. He had a couple of really good recruiting classes in ’17 and ’18. In fact, the ’18 class was top four in the Big Ten. (It was) time to put (his) imprint on the program, and we know where we stand now.”