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Lawyer for U.Md. players accused of sexual assault says head coach not athletic director hired him

Maryland head coach DJ Durkin watches the first half of an NCAA college football game against Penn State in College Park, Md., Saturday, Nov. 25, 2017. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

WASHINGTON — A day after the University of Maryland released a statement saying that former athletic director Kevin Anderson hired an attorney to represent two football players accused of sexual assault, the lawyer said that he was hired by head football coach D.J. Durkin.

Defense attorney Donald Maurice Jackson told the Baltimore Sun that he had minimal contact with Anderson, although he received an email from the former athletic director about two weeks after taking over the case from another lawyer to say that the university was severing ties with him.

On Thursday, The Washington Post received a statement from Maryland’s athletic department saying that Anderson used athletic department funding to pay for the student athletes’ legal defense.

In a lengthy statement released by the school, it admits that Anderson hired the law firm without the administration’s approval, and that protocols were not followed. It also accuses Anderson, without ever using his name, of disobeying that order. An internal investigation was subsequently launched to find out why, though the results will not be made public.

In all, about $15,000 was spent from a discretionary account that was controlled by Anderson.

Durkin is already on administrative leave after reports surfaced of a toxic culture surrounding the football program.


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