As investigation into the death of Maryland offensive lineman Jordan McNair is expected to wrap up early this week, more allegations against the program's culture under coach D.J. Durkin came to light Sunday. The Washington Post reported that the mother of a former Terrapin players sent a letter to school officials in December 2016 -- Durkin's first year as coach -- detailing the toxic and abusive culture of the program. That letter contained a warning about things to come.
"The fact that he allows his coaches to psychologically, physically, and emotionally abuse the athletes is paving the way for a multi-million dollar civil lawsuit against the school and the coaches, alleging assault and intentional infliction of emotional distress," the letter read, according to the Post.
Other former players spoke out about the lasting effects of the coaching staff using extreme workouts, fear and intimidation on players.
"I don't know if I'll be able to get back to the point that I was before I came to Maryland," former offensive lineman E.J. Donahue said in the report. Donahue signed with the Terrapins in Randy Edsall's last class in 2015 and was a part of Durkin's first season before transferring to James Madison.
Former players told the Post that Durkin and former strength and conditioning coach Rick Court poured snacks and Rice Krispie treats over players in what Donahue called "fat shaming," recorded players vomiting in trash cans after being pushed to their limit in conditioning drills, and sent injured players to a part of the practice facility called "The Pit" and verbally abused them by calling them "a waste of life."
"One of the biggest, most important things to understand from this whole thing, is coach Court and coach Durkin picked certain people," one unnamed former player told the Post. "They had favorites, and the treatment you got depended on which side of the spectrum you were on."
McNair collapsed during a team workout on May 29. Signs of heatstroke were not recognized or addressed by the training staff in the minutes after he collapsed. McNair reportedly had a seizure afterward, and a 911 call was not placed until nearly an hour after McNair's collapse, according a report from by ESPN. McNair passed away two weeks later.
Durkin has been on administrative leave since Aug. 11, and an investigation into the culture has been ongoing since.
"The safety and well-being of our student-athletes is our highest priority," Evans said on Aug. 11. "These alleged behaviors are not consistent with the values I expect all of our staff to adhere to and we must do better."
Court was fired three days later after an early investigation into McNair's death exposed part of the toxic culture that was going on at Maryland.
"We have learned that Jordan did not receive appropriate medical care and mistakes were made by some of our athletic training personnel. ... The emergency response plan was not appropriately followed," Evans said. "Second, the care we provided was not consistent with best practices. And third, heat illness was not properly identified or treated. Our athletic training staff did not take Jordan's temperature and did not apply a cold-water immersion treatment."
The future of the program -- including an update on Durkin's future with the program -- is expected to be revealed once the investigation concludes.