Timeline of Maryland football program's demise

Brian Tinsman
November 01, 2018 - 10:34 pm
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Rafael Suanes-USA TODAY Sports

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It's hard to imagine what might come next in the fallout from the University of Maryland football scandal.

With the latest news that the president of the board of regents is resigning, no one will come out of this situation unscathed. It is likely there is still more bad or disturbing news to come.

Answering the question of when it all went wrong requires picking a date when things started to deteriorate. The most recent chapter begins on May 29 when Jordan McNair was gravely injured during offseason workouts. Another logical date is December 2, 2015, when Maryland made the decision to hire D.J. Durkin and his staff.

But evidence of organizational rot reaches back to the end of Ralph Friedgen's tenure at College Park. Here's a timeline:

December 1, 2009: Despite a dismal 2-10 record and internal strife over Maryland's decision to name James Franklin as his successor, Maryland athletics announced that Friedgen would return for the 2010 season. 

November 19, 2010: The Terps start the season 7-3 and UMD Athletic Director Kevin Anderson announces that Friedgen, going into the final year of his contract, would return for the 2011 season. 

November 30, 2010: After compiling an 8-4 record and falling one win short of playing in the ACC title game, Friedgen is named the 2010 ACC Coach of the Year. Quarterback Danny O'Brien became the first Terrapin ever named ACC Rookie of the Year.

December 18, 2010: Maryland athletics reverses course and terminates Friedgen's contract, buying out of his 2011 salary.

December 29, 2010: Friedgen and the Terps flatten East Carolina in the 2010 Military Bowl, winning 51-20, in Friedgen's last game with Maryland

January 3, 2011: Maryland hires UConn's Randy Edsall as the new head coach. Edsall had spent 12 years in Connecticut, where he led the program from the FCS into the Big East. He won two Big East titles and took the Huskies to the playoffs in every season between 2007-10. After losing to Oklahoma in the Fiesta Bowl, Edsall skipped the team's charter flight back to Connecticut, departing immediately for Maryland without telling his players. Most of his players found out via media reports, or texts from Edsall after the plane landed. He was introduced as Maryland's coach the next day.

October 1, 2011: Maryland evened its schedule at 2-2 with a win over FCS Towson, paired with a Week 1 win over Miami. Edsall and the Terps would not win again that season, finishing 2-10 (1-7 ACC), with an average margin of defeat of more than 16 points.

October 29, 2011: After season-ending injuries to all four quarterbacks with scholarships, the Terps are forced to turn to a scout team linebacker with high school passing experience as the new starting quarterback. The team finished the season with 4-8.

February 13, 2012: Quarterback Danny O'Brien became the 24th and highest-profile player to transfer out of Maryland since Edsall took over as coach. He would end up in Wisconsin for a season before finishing his collegiate career at Catawba.

October 11, 2015: After a 2-4 start to the season, Edsall was relieved of his duties. He finished with a 22-34 record as head coach, and a 0-2 record in bowl games.

December 2, 2015: Maryland announces D.J. Durkin as the new head coach, after a successful stint as Michigan's defensive coordinator. He brought with him the reputation of an energetic recruiter and brought in two of Maryland's most heralded recruiting classes.

October 16, 2017: AD Anderson takes a six-month professional development sabbatical, a move that is first reported as a firing. Senior Associate Athletic Director Damon Evans takes over the day-to-day responsibilities of the post. 

March 6, 2018: With Anderson--who had him fired--on sabbatical, Friedgen agreed to return to College Park for a day and speak to Durkin's 2018 squad. Weeks later, Anderson officially resigned.

May 29, 2018: Offensive lineman Jordan McNair collapsed at an offseason practice and began showing signs of extreme exhaustion, heatstroke and seizures. The practice was run by strength and conditioning staff under the direction of coach Frank Court.

June 13, 2018: After two weeks in the hospital, McNair succumbed to his injuries and died. The police, the University of Maryland, and McNair’s parents all investigated the situation.

August 10, 2018: Several current Terps players spoke to ESPN about a “toxic culture” around Maryland’s football program. Allegations include “extreme verbal abuse,” “humiliation,” forcing players to eat to the point of vomiting, and other various forms of bullying. Court was a named source of the abuse.

August 11, 2018: An ESPN report uncovers troubling details of McNair’s injuries and death, including that there was “an unexplained one hour” between when McNair began showing obvious signs of distress and when the medical staff called for an EMT. The law firm conducting an investigation on behalf of his family determined that he was not adequately cooled down at the facility, as he arrived at the hospital with a temperature of 106 degrees.

ALSO READ: Junkies Say Terps’ Coach Durkin ‘Has to Go’

August 14, 2018: Maryland President Wallace D. Loh and Athletic Director Damon Evans accepted full responsibility, legally and morally, for the preventable death of 19-year-old Jordan McNair. Durkin and several other members of the coaching staff were placed on administrative leave, while Matt Canada was named the interim head coach.

August 17, 2018: The University of Maryland System Board of Regents has voted to assume authority over all aspects of the investigation into the death of Jordan McNair. The move is designed to “allow the USM to provide guidance from the findings of the investigations.” The decision was made after a four-hour meeting by the board on how to best respond.

ALSO READ: Boomer Esiason rips Maryland for ‘Shameful Lack of Leadership’

August 20, 2018: Unnamed sources said that the Board of Regents came out of their four-hour meeting believing that school president Wallace Loh, Evans and Durkin should all be relieved of their duties. This followed another report earlier in the week that Loh had rejected a proposal in 2017 to overhaul how the athletic department manages injuries and healthcare.

ALSO READ: EB on Investigation: ‘Not Finding Any Wrongdoing by Durkin’

September 22, 2018: The results of an independent investigation into the death of Jordan McNair were released, showing that it took 34 minutes from the time McNair began showing symptoms of heat illness for him to be taken off the field. He was never given cold immersion therapy, and the medical staff didn't take his vital signs.

October 25, 2018: An external investigation of the Maryland football program under coach DJ Durkin has determined that the team "did not have a toxic culture," but was problematic enough to where players feared speaking out.

October 30, 2018: Following the report absolving Maryland of a toxic football culture, Durkin and Evans were reinstated to their positions as head football coach and athletic director, respectively.

ALSO READ: Snyder Says Maryland Board of Regents Failed School

October 31, 2018 (AM): The news of Durkin’s reinstatement was met with intense backlash, including players walking out of team meetings, student-led protests on campus, a strong rebuke from Maryland Governor Larry Hogan, and near universal disgust in the media.

ALSO READ: Snyder Says Maryland Regents Needs New Leadership

October 31, 2018 (PM): One day after announcing D.J. Durkin had been reinstated, University of Maryland has reversed course in the face of public backlash by deciding to fire the head football coach.

ALSO READ: Bickel Says Durkin’s Side of Story ‘Going to Come Out’

November 1, 2018: On Thursday, James T. Brady, chairman of the University System of Maryland's Board of Regents, resigned from the position he's held since March 2015. Brady informed the board of his decision during a private meeting in Baltimore. Barry Gossett, the board's vice chair, will assume the leadership role.

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Check back for further updates on the Maryland football scandal, as more details become available.

 

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