Maryland places DJ Durkin on administrative leave

A general view of Maryland's football stadium

Maryland athletic director Damon Evans says coach DJ Durkin is being placed on leave while the school reviews allegations of "unacceptable behavior by members of our football staff". Offensive coordinator Matt Canada will serve as interim head coach. He reiterated his support for the full investigation of the program. We must do better, and we will rebuild a culture of respect in our football program. This is effective immediately. Durkin had served as defensive coordinator at the University of MI and was brought to Maryland after previous coach Randy Edsall was sacked by the university.

"Following the death of Maryland football player Jordan McNair in June, the University of Maryland commissioned an external review of the procedures and protocols surrounding athletes' health and safety". The 19-year-old offensive lineman was hospitalized May 29 after a team workout and died June 13. An attorney for the family told ESPN that McNair had a seizure on a practice field after running sprints and Maryland athletic trainers waited almost an hour before calling emergency personnel to provide treatment.

A former staff member recalled a time when one player was in a team meeting with food on a plate because he was rushing from a meal to get to the meeting, and [strength and conditioning coach Rick] Court smacked the plate of food out of the player's hands, yelling at him.
It's not like ESPN's report was poorly-sourced - it cites "two current Maryland players, multiple people close to the football program, and former players and football staffers". According to ESPN's report, the Maryland program used fear and intimidation, verbal abuse and endorsed unhealthy eating habits, including overeating to the point of vomiting.

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ESPN reported that head football athletic trainer Wes Robinson and director of athletic training Steve Nordwall were placed on leave by Maryland.

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. Walters's report is expected to be released September 15. McNair's parents are being represented by Baltimore attorney Bill Murphy, whose firm is also investigating.

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