On Friday, ESPN published an explosive report about the “toxic culture” of the University of Maryland football program — one that allegedly is based on “fear and intimidation,” laced with “humiliation” and “extreme verbal abuse of players” and might have contributed to the June death of offensive lineman Jordan McNair following a football workout.
The very next day, the school’s athletic director, Damon Evans, announced that it has placed Maryland football coach, DJ Durkin, on paid administrative leave, while it investigates the allegations brought to light by ESPN’s story and the death of McNair, who died of a heatstroke after running 110-yard sprints.
Well, that paid administrative leave isn’t sitting well with McNair’s family. The family’s attorney, Billy Murphy Jr., is calling for Durkin to be fired … and now.
“This is an obvious heatstroke case,” Murphy told the Associated Press on Sunday.
He added: “Coach Durkin should be fired immediately. His conduct and the conduct of the coaches was reprehensible. They were not prepared ... to deal with a heatstroke incident.”
Murphy also took the time to seemingly corroborate with ESPN’s findings by saying that Durkin “fostered a horrible culture,” including the “physical and verbal” abuse of players.
“And the third reason he ought to be fired is: How are you going to have a viable football program as long as it is possible for him to become the coach again?”
Maryland’s independent investigation into McNair’s death and the overall culture of the football program is expected to be available by September 15, as reported by the AP.
To that, Murphy said, “in the best of all possible worlds, we want to wait until that investigation is released,” while addressing an imminent lawsuit filed on behalf of the family.
ESPN reported that McNair, 19, showed signs of extreme exhaustion, had difficulty standing and had a body temperature of 106 degrees after being hospitalized on May 29 following a Maryland football workout. He died two weeks later on June 13.
Given ESPN’s report and Murphy’s comments, do you expect Durkin to be fired immediately?