SNIDER: Maryland regents needs new leadership – Tom McMillen

Rick Snider
November 01, 2018 - 10:46 am
Maryland_Football_Players

Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

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The University of Maryland has been shamed into doing the right thing and firing football coach D.J. Durkin. Now it’s time for the Board of Regents to resign.

All of them.

The aftermath of player Jordan McNair’s death has been a national disgrace that is nothing short of the one following Len Bias’ 1986 death. Thirty-two years haven’t taught Maryland administrators anything, but it has empowered the public to force change.

Gov. Larry Hogan – if you want Terps Nation’s votes on Tuesday, do the right thing. Have your friends on the board resign. Have your non-friends resign.

Next, re-instate former regent Tom McMillen as the new regent chairman. Hogan replaced McMillen as a member in 2015 simply because the latter was a Democrat and the incoming governor wanted a Republican on the board. That was a really dumb partisan move.

McMillen is one of the greatest Terps ever. Not just for being a great basketball player in the 1970s, but also becoming the school’s first Rhodes Scholar and a three-term Congressman. McMillen represents success that all Terps should strive for and is needed now more than ever on the board.

The current board can’t continue. There is no confidence in them after trying to keep Durkin. Indeed, the board has even made university president Wallace Loh a sympathetic figure when Loh’s athletic decisions have been disastrous. Loh deserves to be forced into retirement, but he’s now the good guy after having the guts to reject the Regents’ decision to keep Durkin and fire the coach instead. The Regents only have the power to fire Loh, not coaches, and they tried to browbeat the president into keeping the coach. Instead, Loh did the right thing on his way out the door.

The regents only cared about saving $5 million needed to buy out Durkin. Otherwise, why invite such disgrace by keeping a coach that needed security to walk off the practice field on Wednesday? For that misjudgment, the Regents can no longer be counted upon to do the right thing morally.

This council of elders has become one of shame. Indeed, nothing at all would have been done if the media hadn’t embarrassed the university into any reaction over McNair’s death. Otherwise, why did the school do nothing for two months after McNair’s death until media reports of wrongdoing?

Gov. Hogan – call McMillen. Tell him you’re sorry for replacing him. Plead with him to return to College Park. It’s the clearest path out of this mess.

Rick Snider has covered Washington sports since 1978. Follow him on Twitter: @Snide_Remarks