Less than two months ago, Maryland head coach DJ Durkin was fired from his position due to an investigation into a toxic culture surrounding the football program. But for the last week, the ex-Terrapins leader has been in a consultant role for the premier program in college football.
AL.com reported that Alabama has been utilizing Durkin “in a consultant-like role” for the past week as the Crimson Tide prepare for their College Football Playoff matchup against Oklahoma. There’s no indication that this is a permanent situation, but it was surprising nonetheless.
Thursday, SEC Network host Paul Finebaum joined Outside the Lines to talk about Nick Saban’s decision to use Durkin as a consultant. The radio host believes it was a horrible move by Alabama.
“None of us should be surprised by Nick Saban becoming the Father Flannigan of college football,” Finebaum said. “He’s taken in Lane Kiffin and Steve Sarkisian after his fall from grace. He tried to hire Hugh Freeze last year, but the SEC reportedly stepped in.
“I think’s an absolutely terrible, embarrassing look for Nick Saban. This is a man that doesn’t need anymore consultants…He’s the best coach in college football, this is the best program in college football. This is a terrible look for the University of Alabama.”
— Outside The Lines (@OTLonESPN) December 13, 2018
Durkin spent nearly three months on administrative leave while the football program was being investigated for a “toxic culture.” Though he was reinstated at Maryland following the investigation, Durkin was fired shortly after due to backlash from media, players, students and fans.
In two seasons with the Terrapins, Durkin posted a 10-15 record. He did not coach a game in the 2018 season.