Nutt: Maryland Didn't Handle This Right

By reinstating – and ultimately firing – D.J. Durkin, Maryland committed multiple missteps, Houston Nutt says

Tiki and Tierney
November 01, 2018 - 6:49 pm

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One day, D.J. Durkin was reinstated as Maryland’s head football coach. The next day, he was fired amid public outcry and student protests.

It was a debacle from start to finish.

“It just wasn’t handled right,” CBS Sports college football analyst Houston Nutt said on Tiki and Tierney. “You would think with a long investigation, everything would be in line with the facts and the decision-makers. It just doesn’t look good from the outside looking in. Players (are) walking out of meetings. You have Board of Regents stating what they want and politicians stating what they want – and in the meantime, there’s a university trying to be run, and the football team, and there’s fights amongst players. I just hate to see the whole thing the way everything went down.”

One of Durkin’s former players, Jordan McNair, died of heatstroke in June following a workout. Durkin was placed on leave before being reinstated – and ultimately fired.

As Brandon Tierney pointed out, though, situations like these are difficult for universities to navigate. If they’re incredibly punitive from the start and don’t wait for all the facts to come out, they could face a wrongful-termination lawsuit. If they don’t drop the hammer immediately, however, they face public vitriol.

“No question about it,” Nutt said. “You’re in a whole different world now. They make a decision – and boy, the uproar and the backlash, did you not expect that? I don’t know. There’s so many different lanes you can go down and talk about this thing. It’s just a tough, tough, sad deal.”

Click below to hear Nutt’s thoughts on the College Football Playoff, No. 1 Alabama’s showdown with No. 3 LSU, and more.