According to a report from the Baltimore Sun’s Talia Richman, there is video footage of Jordan McNair’s final practice with the Maryland football team, footage that could potentially help illuminate the circumstances of his tragic death from heatstroke.
An independent investigation into McNair’s death recently found that it should have been prevented by the Maryland coaching staff. However, the University of Maryland system and their lawyers have repeatedly refused to release the footage to McNair’s family, his lawyers, the media, or anyone else.
The university’s Office of General Counsel sent a letter to a law firm representing the McNair family this week, where they wrote that surveillance camera footage of the practice field would be withheld “pending the completion of an investigation being conducted by the Office of the Attorney General.” Deadspin has filed a records request for the footage, which Maryland denied on the same grounds.
The surveillance footage is not an official program video of the practice, since it was a conditioning workout, though the video is clearly important, as Dr. Rod Walters—the independent investigator who ruled Maryland could have prevented McNair’s death—said the footage helped him understand what happened. McNair’s family’s attorneys called bullshit on Maryland’s stance:
Attorney Billy Murphy called the decision “bogus,” and questioned whether the video was withheld because it contradicts the university’s original version of events.
“There’s no way giving us a copy of that tape will change what’s on it or impede their investigation,” he said. “It must hurt them or they would’ve released it to the public long ago.”
Walter’s report says the video helped establish that it was 30 minutes from when McNair started showing symptoms before he was removed from the field, and another 30 minutes after that before university officials called 911.