Maryland takes responsibility for mistakes in player death

Maryland takes responsibility for mistakes in player death

The University of Maryland has parted ways with a member of its athletic training staff and embattled football coach DJ Durkin will remain on administrative leave as an independent four-person panel will investigate the football program, university officials announced Tuesday, less than three weeks before the Terps' 2018 season opener.

Athletic director Damon Evans said on Tuesday that Rick Court is no longer associated with the program.

Head coach Durkin, who was hired by Maryland two years ago, was placed on administrative leave Saturday following a report published on ESPN about the football program's "toxic culture", in which players accused football coaching staff of verbal abuse and humiliation.

At a press conference, university president Wallace Loh also said that the university would take responsibility for McNair's death.

Jordan McNair, 19, was hospitalized May 29 after a strenuous team workout and died June 13.

Matt Canada is now the interim head coach of the Terps in his first season with the team.

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"We have learned that Jordan did not receive appropriate medical care, and mistakes were made by some of our athletic training personnel", Evans said.

School officials said the commission will interview players, parents, coaches and anyone else who comes forward.

The Baltimore Sun reported Monday that medical experts say McNair's health could have hinged on Maryland's adherence to medical guidelines for treating heatstroke, including cold-water immersion - a practice which doctors said likely saved former Towson football player Gavin Class' life after he was stricken during a practice in 2013. A report is expected by September 15, but the school has been provided preliminary findings and shared some of those in a news conference.

"Walters found that the emergency response plan was not appropriately followed", Evans said, adding that McNair's symptoms "were not properly identified or treated". "The University accepts legal and moral responsibility for the mistakes that were made on that fateful day".

Loh admitted the football training staff "misdiagnosed the situation".

Loh said the reports of "bullying behaviour" by coaches of the football team "are totally inconsistent with what we stand for, and our values".

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