Attorney representing Jordan McNair's family calls for Maryland to fire coach DJ Durkin
Durkin was placed on administrative leave following allegations of player abuse in his program
An attorney representing the family of Jordan McNair, the Maryland offensive lineman who died after an offseason workout earlier this summer, is calling for the school to fire head football coach DJ Durkin, citing McNair's death as an "obvious heatstroke case."
"Coach Durkin should be fired immediately," Billy Murphy Jr. told the Associated Press. "His conduct and the conduct of the coaches was reprehensible. They were not prepared ... to deal with a heatstroke incident."
ESPN released a report on Friday alleging a "toxic" culture around the Maryland football program, focusing mostly on Durkin and strength and conditioning coach Rick Court. The report included allegations of verbal and mental abuse directed towards the players, along with more specific details relating to the day of the workout that led to McNair's hospitalization.
The University of Maryland is already in the midst of an investigation into McNair's death and on Saturday placed Durkin on administrative leave so it can conduct an investigation into the allegations from the story.
"At this time, the best decision for our football program is to place ... Durkin on leave so we can properly review the culture of the program. This is effective immediately," athletic director Damon Evans said in a statement.
Evans said he was extremely concerned by the allegations of "unacceptable behaviors" by members of the Maryland football in the ESPN report. He reiterated his support for the full investigation of the program.
"The safety and well-being of our student-athletes is our highest priority," Evans continued. "These alleged behaviors are not consistent with the values I expect all of our staff to adhere to and we must do better."
Newly hired offfensive coordinator Matt Canada is serving as interim coach at this time.
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