UPDATE: On October 31, 2018, Durkin was fired from his position. Still, the message was sent by the Board of Regents that football was bigger than life. Fortunately, Dr. Loh thought and knew differently.
On October 30, 2018, Maryland university president Wallace D. Loh announced the decision for head football coach DJ Durkin to keep his job, and for athletics director Damon Evans to keep his job too.
What kind of message did this send? It sent the message that football is bigger than life.
Let me tell you: IT IS NOT.
I understand and respect that Dr. Loh wanted Durkin gone even though he had to listen to the Board of Regents. But Durkin staying in his job is inexcusable. I'm glad the students are protesting.
A man by the name of Jordan McNair was killed from heat exhaustion. Yet the head of the staff that was involved in overseeing his well-being can stay employed? Doesn't make sense to me.
He had a 106-degree fever. That's 7.4 degrees above normal. That's extreme. It wasn't treated properly and it cost him his life.
It doesn't matter how big of a football fan you are. The bottom line is this: The decision to keep Durkin was unacceptable.
A life was taken in this matter. In spite of all this, the University of Maryland sent the message that Jordan's life was less important than their football program. Excuse me? I beg to differ. So do many other people in this world.
I understand football is a tough sport. I understand that you have to be in tremendous shape to play football. But under NO circumstances should it cost a life to make sure a man is healthy enough to compete. Jordan wasn't healthy enough to compete and he didn't get any help needed to get healthy so he could continue living, let alone play football. I'm sure you'd want to get help if you needed to, right? Jordan needed to get help. But he didn't get it.
Yet, somehow, the man in charge of the staff overseeing Jordan was allowed to keep his job after failing him, even for just a day?
Apparently for Maryland football, for a day, football was bigger than life. And if you ask me, it's a damn shame.
Football ain't bigger than life, man.