Tim Tebow Rips Maryland for Not Sticking with Decision to Retain DJ Durkin

Adam Wells@adamwells1985Featured ColumnistNovember 2, 2018

Maryland NCAA college football head coach DJ Durkin speaks at Big Ten Media Day in Chicago, Monday, July 24, 2017. (AP Photo/G-Jun Yam)
G-Jun Yam/Associated Press

Former Heisman Trophy winner Tim Tebow took the University of Maryland to task for not following through on its board's initial recommendation to keep DJ Durkin as head football coach. 

Appearing on ESPN's First Take (h/t USA Today's Scott Gleeson), Tebow said he believes the Maryland administration gave into pressure from social media by firing Durkin on Wednesday:

"You need to make a decision and you need to stand with it. Because right now (the decision to fire Durkin) shows people are so afraid to have conviction to believe in something when they make a decision that they're like, 'oh my goodness social media's against us. Well we're gonna fire him now.' You just made a decision to keep him. If that's your decision, if you believe that's what's right for the program, then it shouldn't matter what I say, what social media says.

"So many people want to be liked instead of being respected. And I think more universities need to stand by what they believe is right."

After the Board of Directors recommended Durkin should be reinstated by the school on Tuesday, Maryland president Wallace D. Loh issued a statement announcing the 40-year-old had been fired on Wednesday after consulting with various campus organizations: 

"Since returning to campus after yesterday's press conference, I have met with the leadership of the Student Government Association speaking on behalf of numerous student organizations; the Senate Executive Committee; Deans; department chairs; and campus leadership. The overwhelming majority of stakeholders expressed serious concerns about Coach DJ Durkin returning to the campus."

Per Talia Richman of the Baltimore Sun, hundreds of Maryland students were planning a protest to demand justice for the June death of 19-year-old offensive lineman Jordan McNair after he suffered heatstroke during a team practice in May. 

Durkin had been on administrative leave since August as the school conducted an investigation into the football program's culture under his watch. 

Per Rick Maese and Keith L. Alexander of the Washington Post, the independent commission's report to the school indicated the football team had a "culture where problems festered because too many players feared speaking out," but stopped short of calling it toxic. 

Durkin spent two seasons as Maryland's head coach.