The University of Maryland has added head coach D.J. Durkin to the list of coaches and trainers on administrative leave, in the wake of reports that the football program was “toxic” in ways that may have contributed to the death of sophomore Jordan McNair this summer.
“I am extremely concerned by the allegations of unacceptable behaviors by members of our football staff detailed in recent media reports,” [Maryland Athletic director Damon] Evans wrote in a letter sent to university students, staff and alumni. “We are committed to fully investigating the program. At this time, the best decision for our football program is to place Maryland head football coach DJ Durkin on leave so we can properly review the culture of the program. This is effective immediately. Matt Canada will serve as interim head coach.”
Durkin joins strength and conditioning coach Rick Court, head athletic trainer Wes Robinson, and director of athletic training Steve Nordwall on administrative leave. All of Durkin, Court, and Robinson are named in an alarming ESPN report into the abusive, intimidation-based football culture at Maryland.