Monday, 17 December, 2018

Durkin, staff members suspended as player’s death is investigated

A general view of Maryland's football stadium Durkin, staff members suspended as player’s death is investigated
Kristopher Love | 13 August, 2018, 08:54

The ESPN investigation also describes a culture of mistreatment in which coaches - namely Durkin and his top lieutenant, strength and conditioning coach Rick Court - used conditioning, weightlifting and nutrition regimens to punish and intimidate players.

Maryland announced Friday night that it has placed some athletic staffers on administrative leave as McNair's death is investigated.

SC head coach Will Muschamp defended former assistant D.J. Durkin and criticized ESPN for a "lack of journalistic integrity" in its report on the "toxic coaching culture" under Durkin at Maryland. Offensive coordinator Matt Canada will serve as interim coach. The football team practiced with Durkin.

Maryland head coach DJ Durkin is seen during a college football game against Boston College, in Detroit, Dec. 26, 2016. The report from ESPN shared the scary details surrounding McNair's death, which called into question the Maryland training staff.

"In light of deeply troubling reports about the University of Maryland football program's training practices and general culture, I support the university's decision to suspend Coach DJ Durkin, and expect that the investigation into the program will be wide-ranging and thorough", Hogan said in a statement. Walters's report is expected to be released September 15.

Dr. Rod Walters, a former college athletic trainer, has been hired by Maryland to investigate the circumstances of the death; a report is expected by September 15, The Associated Press reported. McNair's parents are being represented by Baltimore attorney Bill Murphy, whose firm is also investigating.

Jordan McNair, 19, died June 13, two weeks after participating in a workout at Maryland's outdoor practice fields, CNN affiliate WJZ-TV reported.

The Longhorns dropped last year's season opener to Maryland in Austin, 51-41.

"He's an outstanding football coach", Muschamp said during a news conference.

Staples said she has never had any interactions with Court.

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.

Mississippi State quarterback Nick Fitzgerald expressed support for Court on Saturday. Court also worked with Durkin at Bowling Green in 2005 and '06, when Durkin was an assistant. "From what I remember, he never really went over the line or did anything insane like that".