Opinion: The firing of DJ Durkin couldn’t come soon enough

By: Isaiah Blakely 

Maryland’s decision to fire former head coach DJ Durkin over his mishandling of Jordan McNair’s death was the right decision, but the decision took too long. Maryland Terrapins head football coach was fired on Wednesday, a day after Maryland officials reinstated him.

Durkin had been on paid administrative leave since August 11. Maryland University had taken responsibility in early August and at that point you must fire the head coach. They fired strength and conditioning coach Rick Court the same day they took responsibility for McNair’s death. That was the correct decision, but to not fire Durkin as well does not make sense. Durkin is the head coach and at the end of the day Durkin is the overseer of everyone on his staff which includes Court. An incident like this requires the man in charge to be fired.

Maryland had an opportunity to make the right decision back in August so they could clean house and make a timely responsible decision. Instead they let this incident cloud over their program for months. The athletic program and the school continued to look worse as more and more bad news broke.

An investigation was done by an external investigator, and in October the investigators found out that Maryland football had an abusive culture and a culture that lacked accountability. They found that Court used homophobic slurs and Durkin acknowledged that there was verbal abuse, but didn’t believe Court crossed any lines.

Durkin’s negligence and not seeing anything wrong should have been a sign that he needed to be fired. It’s not acceptable to run college football programs like this, and at what point did Maryland University think to just cut their losses and save some of their reputation for their athletic program and their university. Durkin is not a prestigious coach or even been super successful one in his short stint with the Terrapins. He had an 11-15 record in his two seasons, so the only reason for waiting to fire Durkin was financial.

I understand the initial hesitation to fire Durkin because he had $5.1 million left on his deal and firing him without cause resulted in the school owing him that money, but money can not always be the deciding factor especially in decisions like this.

The fact that Maryland reinstated Durkin after the investigation clearly stated that there were several problems with the culture of the football team, and the university was accountable for the death of McNair is lazy and unaware.

The Board of Regents ignored McNair’s parent’s pleas to fire Durkin for months. Then they finally caved to the outside pressure of student groups planning protests. Even state politicians got involved and condemned the board’s decision.

Maryland eventually made the right decision to fire Durkin, but there were several moments in the process where they could have fired him sooner. Maryland University chose to worry about their potential financial obligations to Durkin instead of their moral obligations to all their students and alumni.

Appropriateness is subjective under First Amendment 

[Photo courtesy of Chicago-Sun Times]

By Marshall Myers

Divisive, polarizing and controversial are all words used to describe the current state of social issues in our country. I know what you’re thinking, “Oh no, not another Donald Trump article! We can’t keep up as it is.”

However, this piece is not about our president’s voracious tweeting habits, or the always present dramas that seem to follow him everywhere.  Rather, where does our First Amendment right to free speech end, and can someone take this expression too far?

But first, a look into some recent events.  About three weeks ago, a well-known and liked ESPN host, Jemele Hill, took to twitter to voice her opinions on our current president. Using terms like “white supremacist,” “ignorant,” and “bigot,” her tweets gained notoriety very quickly.

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Column: We Need to Talk About Ke$ha

By Liam McGurl

[Image courtesy of mtv.com]

There’s always a strange dichotomy between celebrities’ personal and professional lives—especially when it comes to musicians.

We’re so attached to their pop-savvy lulls that we, sometimes unknowingly, assume their bubbly pick-me-up sounds are a direct reflection of their personal experiences.

Needless to say, this outlook is nothing short of faulty and “Tik Tok” singer Ke$ha is an unfortunate illustration of that.

The star of the television show My Crazy Beautiful Life filed a lawsuit against her producer Luke Gottwald—more commonly known as Dr. Luke—in October of 2014, alleging he drugged and raped her shortly after her 18th birthday in 2006.

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Alumni comments don’t represent Franciscan values

By Hannah Vail

[Photo retrieved from sbu.edu]

On Nov. 19, almost 100 St. Bonaventure University students, faculty and administrators posed for a picture to stand in solidarity with University of Missouri students of color and allies who recently protested a series of racial incidents on campus that went unaddressed by administration.

The demonstration was met with a deluge of less-than-enthusiastic feedback, mostly from SBU alumni (and the odd troll who never even attended the university). Comments ranged from telling SBU students to “Get a life,” to lamentations of the university’s decline. There was even a declaration from one commenter that she would not hire SBU alumni anymore. (As many current students pointed out, we probably wouldn’t want to work for her anyway).

I could write a piece about why it is important to stand behind Mizzou and other universities protesting racial inequality, but I won’t. I could pen a diatribe about how out of touch older generations are with social and political climates, but I won’t. Instead, I want to talk about Franciscan values.

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Ryan chose family over football

By Joseph Phelan, @jphelan13

Rex Ryan is not unlike many professionals. Late hours, long weekends, little time with the family.

Ryan attended his son’s first college football game recently, instead of working.

Ryan’s day off to see his son differs only because he has a highly visible job: He coaches the New York Jets in the National Football League.

Some reporters questioned Ryan’s dedication to the Jets.

But Ryan only proved he cares for his family, not his level of dedication to a football team.

In today’s economy, family can take a backseat.

Parents have a tough time raising children while earning a living.

Ryan is no different than a father attending his daughter’s recital or a mother chaperoning her son’s field trip.

No matter a person’s income, work has to be done—meaning recitals, field trips and even college football games can be missed.

Sometimes personal moments cannot be shared and sacrifices have to be made.

But hard-working parents want to be there for their children.

That’s why parents call in sick or take vacation days because they want to be there for their children.

The father or mother who missed work won’t but in the papers.

Ryan, in a sense, is different than that father and mother, but why should he be?

After all, Ryan is another hard-working parent with crazy hours who tries to be there for their children.


The (Un) Natural State

By Alex Ross, @alchristineross, Contributing Writer

Arkansas: the wholesome “heartland” of America. Within its homogenous population, sightings of tattoos, designed scars, and man-made horns protruding from human foreheads would soil the human landscape, right?

In short, if you want sub-skin décor or inkless tattoos, don’t go to “The Natural State.”

The state, surely wanting to stay natural, recently passed a law deeming artistic scarring and shaped silicone implants illegal. Known as scarification and subdermal implants to the marked masses, they’re nothing new.

According to an Alternative Press article, senators, who are clearly experts on tattoos and piercings, ruled that these methods were “untraditional” and unsafe. Obviously, these guys never spent an entire “sick” day on the couch watching Nat Geo. They would know that scarification practices have been a significant part of African culture for as long, or longer than, Arkansas has been a state. Senators’ lack of knowledge of rules and regulations followed by tattoo parlors and their artists also becomes apparent through their argument. Way to do your research, guys.

It’s peculiar how society allows people to put grossly disproportional implants in their chests and faces for their own decorative purposes. The legislative claims prove suspiciously vague to be working under. The law has a big, red target on the untraditional.

People want horns? Give them horns. They want tattoos? So be it. Silicone and pigment may not be natural, but human nature and choice are. 



image Legal.