Maryland Terrapins: Coach D.J. Durkin on Leave, Pending Investigation
Maryland Terrapins athletic director Damon Evans placed head coach D.J. Durkin on administrative leave on Saturday. The University appointed Offensive coordinator Matt Canada as the interim head coach. The action stems from a report that Durkin ran an unsafe and unprofessional program. Also, the school place Head strength coach Rick Court, head athletic trainer Wes Robinson and director of athletic training Steve Nordwall on administrative leave, as well.
The tragic death of offensive lineman Jordan McNair brought these issues to the forefront. ESPN on Friday reported McNair died of heat stroke on June 13, two weeks after participating in a May 29 team workout at the Maryland Terrapins outdoor practice fields. McNair had difficulty standing upright while running a set of 110-yard sprints. The lineman had a body temperature of 106 degrees when he arrived at a local hospital, multiple sources told ESPN. McNair died two weeks later.
Maryland Terrapins AD Damon Evans issued the following statement:
I am extremely concerned by the allegations of unacceptable behaviors by members of our football staff detailed in recent media reports. We are committed to fully investigating the program.
At this time, the best decision for our football program is to place Maryland Head Football Coach DJ Durkin on leave so we can properly review the culture of the program. This is effective immediately. Matt Canada will serve as interim head coach.
The external review into the tragic death of Jordan McNair continues, and we have committed to releasing publicly the report being prepared by an independent and national expert.
The safety and well-being of our student-athletes is our highest priority. These alleged behaviors are not consistent with the values I expect all of our staff to adhere to and we must do better.
You will be hearing from me as our work continues to rebuild the culture of respect in our football program.
Maryland Terrapins president issued the below statement on Twitter:
I am profoundly disturbed by media reports of intimidating conduct by Maryland football coaches and staff. Today, AD Damon Evans has placed Head Football Coach DJ Durkin on administrative leave while a comprehensive examination is conducted https://t.co/W5LoMoQp4f
— Wallace D. Loh (@presidentloh) August 11, 2018
Where do the Maryland Terrapins go from here?
This is an extremely sad situation. Also, the situation is very fluid. The University is investigating. The family of Jordan McNair has hired an independent investigator, as well. If an investigation turns up that D.J. Durkin or his staff were responsible for McNair’s death, then criminal charges should also follow.
South Carolina head coach Will Muschamp came to D.J. Durkin’s defense. Muschamp ripped anonymous sources. I could not disagree more with Muschamp. I understand the need to defend his friend and former assistant, however, he comes off really bad here.
What do you think of this situation involving the Maryland Terrapins program? Let us know in the comments!
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