Friday, 11/2/2018, NYC – What a week – the most dysfunctional (their words, not mine), direction changing, upside down, inside out week I have seen at Maryland.
Mason goes to the coach’s presser (Matt Canada) on Tuesday. Mason comes back to the office and gets the presser video up. Then we decide to go the BoR (Board of Regents) presser. By time we get to Baltimore from Rockville, Tuesday afternoon, Matt Canada is not the head coach anymore. Parking is expensive, DJ Durkin is the coach again. But…
Wally Loh is not going to be President of the University of Maryland after June of 2019. The BoR presser is short on detail and still long on questions. But at least there is an answer. When asked by a reporter if DJ is going to be on the sidelines on Saturday, Wally replies slowly and with a cryptic response. “That is up to Damon Evans the athletic director”. (Cue the haunting music) Before we get out of the room, the ESPN guy sitting in front of me tweets out that players have walked out of practice.
We, TerpTalk, does a live show from the lobby at the BoR presser. Things will calm down. (if we are on the Titanic, this is the moment where you think, “this ship can’t sink, we will just be late to NY”.)
Bruce goes to a benefit dinner in Baltimore and hundreds of people ask him what is going on. Mason and I drive back to Rockville. In that brief time, Maryland’s world (as Jordan said) catches on fire and is burning to the ground. There is no fire truck coming to help.
On Wednesday I get up early to drive to NJ. As I drive towards, through and north of Baltimore I get a solid taste of the disenchantment of the sports world towards the decision. Even on Maryland’s flagship, 105.7, radio guys are ripping Maryland’s decision. I still can’t figure out how DJ is the focus of what used to be called “an institutional lack of control” back when there was a NCAA (they still exist? Oh right).
The YoungTerps (Jordan and Mason) are putting a show together to air as a podcast on Wednesday afternoon. It is probably the toughest situation that they have been in as young journalists. How do you reflect the news, your personal feelings, the building protests and keep a level head of it. They did a fantastic job. I listen to the show, have no edits and commend them on a job well done, tell them “this is the best job Jordan has ever done on the radio.” This is about 2p.
I return to Rockville on Wednesday and start to put the show up on our affiliates. While calling and texting with the media community, in mid-text a news flash, “DJ is out”.
As you all know, Wally drops the ax on DJ. By this point, you could believe anything. Later you find out the punters got into a fight. Anyhow, we go back on-air at 8:30p to conjure up our first ever Halloween special, the Curse of the Fridge, no just kidding… the first ever joint TerpTalk/YoungTerps emergency podcast. So far, this is the most listened to Maryland podcast in the history of the solar system.
Maybe Mike Locksley will come save us.
But the firing and beheadings don’t stop… the mob got what it wanted, DJ is gone, but… (this is the point on the Titanic adventure that you are aware that there are no more lifeboats)
Thursday- OK things will calm down (I have to stop saying that). Now James T. Brady, the guy that on Tuesday was the face, no, not strong enough, THE FACE OF THE ENTIRE UNIVERSITY SYSTEM, resigns. Pressure from the governor? Who knows anymore.
Maryland still getting ripped at a national level. Punter fight becomes public. Johnny Jordan puts out a great piece of video. Students still have rally, protest, uprising. Provosts, Deans and Professors write letter in support of Wally. There is another BoR meeting.
I go to a benefit dinner in NYC, people ask me, “What kind of clown show is Maryland running?”. I hear that donors are pulling contributions. Big, very large, bequests are being redirected. This is very bad news for Maryland sports.
In fact, the loss of donor funds, now thought of to be north of $100,000,000 is the really bad omen for Terp fans. The rest is window dressing.
Friday morning – The students, to show their support of (I’m not sure anymore) are going to continue their protest by NOT, I repeat NOT, attending the game on Saturday. (insert picture here of empty stands from last game).
On a serious note, if you really are so upset by what is going on with football, upset enough to protest that DJ should be fired, at least when you get your way show up for the game. Don’t make the players the subject of your vitriol.
At 9:30am as I wrap up this column, I am sure things will calm down.