Thursday, 21 March, 2019

Maryland puts head coach DJ Durkin on leave after football player's death

Maryland Stadium Maryland Stadium
Shannon Reynolds | 12 August, 2018, 13:12

South Carolina's Will Muschamp passionately defended his former defensive coordinator DJ Durkin this morning in the wake of an ESPN report which paints the picture of a "toxic culture" surrounding Maryland football. Court had been in the same position at Mississippi State prior to being hired at Maryland.

Durkin, entering his third season with the Terrapins, has come under scrutiny after offensive lineman Jordan McNair collapsed during a conditioning workout and eventually died.

June 21, 2018: ESPN.com confirms the McNair family retained the law firm of Murphy, Falcon & Murphy to represent the family.

August 3, 2018: Practice officially starts and, according to sources, the culture of bullying, led by Court, continues.

Ben Jealous, the Democrat running for governor, published a tweet calling for Evans and Durkin's suspensions, ahead of the announcement that Durkin was placed on leave. Multiple sources close to the program describe past behavior of intimidation, humiliation and verbal abuse that created a culture of fear for the players.

Muschamp's claim that there's no credibility in anonymous sources is also laughable.

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The university commissioned an external review and, "pending the final outcome", has placed some of the staff on leave, said Jessica L. Jennings, director of communications, in a statement. If that former staffer had any guts, why didn't he put his named on that?

A former Maryland staff member said: "I would never, ever, ever allow my child to be coached there."

"I am extremely concerned by the allegations of unacceptable behavior by members of our football staff detailed in recent media reports". Evans said that the university is committed to fully investigating the program.

Earlier Saturday, a person who had been briefed on the situation told the Associated Press on condition of anonymity that Court had also been placed on leave by the school.

While not every investigation is complete, there were major developments Friday afternoon, as ESPN released an article detailing a "toxic culture" behind the scenes, including several eyewitness accounts of the day Jordan McNair suffered his heatstroke. Matt Canada will serve as interim head coach.

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