Former UMD Athletic Director Hired Lawyer for Players Accused of Sexual Misconduct

The university says Kevin Anderson didn't follow orders to fire the lawyer

A former University of Maryland athletic director used athletic department funds to pay for a lawyer to represent two football players accused of sexual misconduct, the university has announced months after the former director's mysterious resignation.

University administration first learned that Kevin Anderson had hired the attorney when the athletic department received an invoice in Aug. 2017, the university said in a statement Thursday. 

Maryland's student newspaper The Diamondback reports it learned through a public information request and sources that Anderson authorized $15,000 in athletic department funds for the lawyer.

According to the university, the hiring violated the school's protocol requiring the Office of General Counsel to retain outside counsel.

"NCAA bylaws allow member institutions to pay for legal counsel for proceedings that might affect a student-athlete’s eligibility to participate in intercollegiate athletics. However, the decision to hire this lawyer showed a serious lack of judgement in a sexual misconduct case, given the university’s commitment to a fair and impartial handling of all such matters," the university said in its statement.

Administration officials immediately brought the issue to the attention of the President's Office, which then directed Anderson to cut ties with the attorney, according to the statement.

However, the office learned in September Anderson had not followed those orders. The President's Office then directed the Office of General Counsel to launch an internal investigation into why Anderson did not fire the attorney, the university said.

"This sexual misconduct case was handled by our Office of Civil Rights and Sexual Misconduct and the Office of Student Conduct independently, impartially, and without favoritism," the university said.

Anderson resigned in April after taking a six-month "professional development sabbatical."

It is not clear why the university didn't release the information sooner. The athletic department has been under heightened scrutiny in recent months following the death of football player Jordan McNair. McNair died after collapsing during a spring practice.

An investigation into McNair's death has led to a separate investigation into the football program's culture after some accused the coaches of mistreating players.

Head football coach DJ Durkin is on administrative leave along with two athletic training staffers as the university investigates the allegations. Assistant coach Rick Court resigned.

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