DJ Durkin was never on the sideline during a Maryland football game in 2018, but the ex-head coach was still helping with game plans, according to a report.

The Baltimore Sun reported that, while on administrative leave during an investigation into the program’s culture, Durkin “continued to communicate” with assistant coaches. He also watched game film and responded to assistants who were seeking advice.

According to The Baltimore Sun, athletic director Damon Evans and the board of regents were aware of Durkin’s continued involvement:

Sources also said Durkin’s continuing role was shared with and discussed by the state university system’s Board of Regents, which cleared him Oct. 30 to return as coach before he was dismissed one day later by university president Wallace Loh.

Whether university officials approved Durkin’s involvement while on leave is in dispute. Durkin told the regents his activity was approved by athletic director Damon Evans, two sources said. And Durkin told the task force he was responding to requests for advice from the assistants and that the university had not limited such contact.

The University of Maryland, however, denied that Durkin was involved:

In a statement late Wednesday, a university spokeswoman said Durkin “was not to perform coaching duties while on administrative leave” and that neither Evans nor Loh had granted permission for him to do so.

“Matt Canada was performing all head coaching duties during this interim time and continues to lead the team,” spokeswoman Jessica Jennings said.

Durkin was placed on administrative leave in August, prior to the team’s season opener against Texas.

After investigations into the death of Jordan McNair concluded, the board of regents recommended the reinstatement of Durkin as head coach. He was temporarily reinstated before being fired on Oct. 31.

He did not coach a single game for the Terrapins.

Durkin took over as head coach prior to the 2016 season. In two seasons in College Park, he tallied a 10-15 record.