A Maryland university official says five additional governing board members resigned following an outcry over the former president's comments likening struggling freshmen to bunnies that should be drowned.

The Frederick News-Post reports (http://bit.ly/1RAPXJb ) that Mount St. Mary's University spokesman Christian Kendzierski confirmed the board of trustee resignations Thursday. He says they occurred about the same time board Chairman John Coyne left last week, but the school doesn't typically announce when board members step down. He didn't know why they left their positions early.

Coyne was replaced by board member Mary Kane. The resignations leave 27 seats filled on the board.

Former president Simon Newman resigned Feb. 29. He was widely scorned by academic leaders after the student newspaper reported his comments, and the faculty voted for his resignation.