After reports of firing shot down, Maryland AD Kevin Anderson announces 'sabbatical'

Dr. Saturday
AUSTIN, TX – SEPTEMBER 02: Head coach D.J. Durkin of the <a class="link rapid-noclick-resp" href="/ncaab/teams/maj/" data-ylk="slk:Maryland Terrapins">Maryland Terrapins</a> and athletic director <a class="link rapid-noclick-resp" href="/ncaaf/players/226708/" data-ylk="slk:Kevin Anderson">Kevin Anderson</a> walk off the field after defeating the <a class="link rapid-noclick-resp" href="/ncaab/teams/tal/" data-ylk="slk:Texas Longhorns">Texas Longhorns</a> at Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium on September 2, 2017 in Austin, Texas. (Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images)
AUSTIN, TX – SEPTEMBER 02: Head coach D.J. Durkin of the Maryland Terrapins and athletic director Kevin Anderson walk off the field after defeating the Texas Longhorns at Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium on September 2, 2017 in Austin, Texas. (Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images)

Reports surfaced over the weekend indicating that something was up with Kevin Anderson and his status as athletic director at Maryland.

Some reports indicated Anderson had been fired, but the school maintained that wasn’t the case. On Monday, Anderson sent a memo to Maryland’s senior athletics staff and head coaches saying the school has granted him the ability to “take a six-month professional development sabbatical” while remaining in his position as AD. Anderson said he will “work with a broad coalition of groups focused on issues of equity, student athlete activism and inclusion in college athletics.”

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Our Pete Thamel reported Saturday that there may be some friction between president Wallace Loh and Anderson, who “hasn’t attended the school’s past three football games.”

But no one at Maryland is saying why Anderson hasn’t been showing up. It appears some type of buyout, job transition or exit plan has been in the works for weeks, as Anderson and president Wallace Loh have been at odds. Since that plan doesn’t appear to be finalized, Maryland doesn’t appear to be comfortable to comment. Two different Maryland athletic spokesmen declined comment on Saturday, pointing to the tweet and pointing a reporter to a university spokesperson. A university spokesperson responded by text: “Kevin Anderson is our AD.” The lack of information, context and detail hints at a sensitive high-end legal standoff.

Anderson, who has been Maryland’s AD since 2010, indicated Loh will appoint somebody to serve as acting AD during his time away.

“While on sabbatical, the regular duties of running the department will be performed by an administrator to be selected by President Loh,” Anderson wrote.

That person, Maryland announced, is Damon Evans. As senior associate athletics director/chief financial officer, Evans arrived at Maryland in 2014 and “has overseen the day-to-day operations of the department, its finances and compliance functions along with other key areas,” the school said.

Evans previously was the athletic director at Georgia, but resigned after an arrest for DUI in 2010.

On the field, Maryland dropped to 3-3 on the season on Saturday with a 37-21 loss to Northwestern.

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Sam Cooper is a writer for the Yahoo Sports blogs. Have a tip? Email him or follow him on Twitter!

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