Ben Jealous, gubernatorial candidate, calls for Maryland to suspend Durkin, Evans


UMD Athletics Director Damon Evans announced Coach DJ Durkin was placed on leave on Saturday.

In 2010, Durkin was reunited with Urban Meyer when he joined the Florida Gators as linebackers coach and special teams coordinator.

Maryland has also placed two athletic training staffers it did not identify on leave as it investigates the death of McNair.

May 29, 2018: Offensive lineman Jordan McNair is hospitalized after showing signs of heatstroke and exhaustion while participating in a team workout. Walters's report is expected to be released September 15. McNair's parents are being represented by Baltimore attorney Bill Murphy, whose firm is also investigating.

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On Friday, ESPN released an article describing a toxic coaching culture under Durkin and strength and conditioning coach Rick Court before McNair's death.

Durkin had served as defensive coordinator at the University of MI and was brought to Maryland after previous coach Randy Edsall was sacked by the university. The 40-year-old former MI defensive coordinator is 11-15 in two seasons after receiving a five-year contract worth $12.5 million in December 2015.

"Our priority every day is the safety along with the academic, personal and athletic development of your sons", the letter said.

A former staff member recalled a time when one player was in a team meeting with food on a plate because he was rushing from a meal to get to the meeting, and [strength and conditioning coach Rick] Court smacked the plate of food out of the player's hands, yelling at him.

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University of Maryland said that it has placed football coach D.J. Durkin on leave while school investigates a bullying allegation. Sources also told that Court, assistant athletic director of sports performance was also placed on leave. ESPN's report, released Friday, roughly two months after McNair's death, detailed horrific and demeaning treatment of players by members of Durkin's staff.

"I would never, ever, ever allow my child to be coached there", said a former Maryland staffer who was quoted in the story.

Maryland placed head coach DJ Durkin on administrative leave Saturday while the school scrutinizes allegations of poor behavior by the football staff, apparent misdeeds that came to light following the death of a player.

"We must have complete confidence that our student athletes are treated with dignity and respect and that they are supervised and coached responsibly", he said.

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"If the investigation confirms these reports, then strong and permanent corrective actions should be taken immediately".