Bickel: D.J. Durkin side of Maryland story 'going to come out'

Chris Lingebach
November 01, 2018 - 2:05 pm

David Banks-USA TODAY Sports

Maryland cowed to public pressure in reversing its initial decision to reinstate D.J. Durkin as head coach, announcing his firing on Wednesday.

But you may not have heard the last of Durkin, Eric Bickel of The Sports Junkies says.

A Maryland alum, Bickel remains well-connected and has shared some of his insights as the university has struggled to adequately address the June death of 19-year-old Jordan McNair.

"Let me just say this," Bickel said Thursday morning. "You haven't heard Coach Durkin's side of the story yet and that's going to come out.

"You're going to hear some things that's going to maybe change the way you feel about some of this. It's not going to change the fact that a kid died. It's brutal. It's tragic. I cannot imagine sending my kid there and getting that phone call that he died after a football practice. I cannot imagine that. But there are some things that are going to come out."

"Some things may come out where you change your opinion of Durkin specifically?" Jason Bishop asked.

"Is the 'toxic culture' part false?" John-Paul Flaim wondered. "Because, to me, the toxic culture stuff – the humiliation and all those things – fall on the head coach."

"No I think their culture in there's crazy," Bickel said. "But that's not what killed Jordan McNair."

"But in my personal opinion, if you're going to say it's to change my opinion, to me that was enough to get rid of him," Flaim rebutted.

"Okay. But then you would have to fire every coach in the country," Bishop said.

"Exactly. There's a reason why he's getting full payout, the full buyout" Bickel said. "And it's because – that culture, I'm not even going to dispute any of that, but that's not what contributed to the death. And there's some reasons why you might have a different opinion of how D.J. handled himself."

Bickel went on to reiterate "there's just some things that are coming out that are going to show you that you just haven't heard all the details yet."

"It should come out," Bishop said.

"I think it will," Bishop said. "My understanding is there's going to be a sit-down interview and a lot of stuff's going to come out. And there's going to be a lawsuit still. Even though they're buying him out, there still could be a lawsuit on top of it for future loss earnings and for damage to his reputation. All this stuff's going to come out."

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