James T. Brady, USM board of regents chair, resigning after Durkin scandal
James T. Brady has resigned as the chairman of the University System of Maryland Board of Regents, two days after defending the regents’ initial recommendation to reinstate football coach DJ Durkin.
“In recent days, I have become the public face of both the board and its decisions related to these matters,” Mr. Brady wrote in a statement. “In my estimation, my continued presence on the board will inhibit its ability to move Maryland’s higher education agenda forward. And I have no interest in serving as a distraction from that important work.
“Accordingly, I will step down from the Board of Regents immediately.”
The regents held a previously unscheduled special meeting Thursday afternoon, in which Mr. Brady informed the other regents of his intention to resign.
Following investigations into the death of Maryland offensive lineman Jordan McNair and complaints of a “toxic” culture in the Terrapin football program under Durkin’s watch, Mr. Brady led a press conference in Baltimore Tuesday explaining the regents’ decision to recommend Maryland reinstate Durkin.
In his letter, Mr. Brady seemed to double down on that decision, saying he was “very proud” of the process by which the regents responded to McNair’s death.
But in the face of widespread backlash Wednesday, university president Wallace D. Loh reversed his decision to accept the regents’ recommendation and fired Durkin. It was reported earlier in the week that Mr. Loh did not want Durkin back in the first place, but the regents threatened his job if he did not comply with their supposed top priority to reinstate the troubled coach.
Mr. Brady’s resignation letter does not make any reference to Mr. Loh.
Mr. Brady had been chairman of the board of regents for three years. It is unclear who will take his place in that role.
The reported resignation also comes after the Middle States Commission on Higher Education announced plans to reconsider the University of Maryland, College Park’s accreditation due to the scandal.