Along with then-head coach DJ Durkin, two Maryland athletic trainers were placed on administrative leave in early August in the aftermath of Jordan McNair‘s tragic death following a football workout. Late last month, Durkin was fired; less than a week later, the trainers have met the same fate.
Rick Maese of the Washington Post was the first to report that the two trainers — Wes Robinson, the head football athletic trainer, and Steve Nordwall, the assistant athletic director for athletic training — have been fired by the university. ESPN.com‘s Adam Rittenberg subsequently confirmed the initial report.
Both Robinson and Nord, along with Durkin, were present during a May 29 workout in which McNair collapsed. The lineman died a little over two weeks later of what his family described as heatstroke. At a mid-August press conference, U-M, College Park president Wallace Loh stated he told the McNair family that the university “accepts legal and moral responsibility for the mistakes that our training staff made on that fateful workout day.”
“They basically misdiagnosed the situation,” Loh said of the training staff. “No vital signs were not taken. Other safeguarding actions were not taken. For me, that’s enough for me to say I need to personally apologize to Jordan’s family.”
Wrote the Baltimore Sun, “The trainers did not take his temperature nor apply cold-water immersion therapy to reduce his body temperature.” Robinson also allegedly yelled “drag his ass across the field” as McNair struggled to complete a run.
By the time the player’s temperature was taken by emergency personnel who were called to the scene, it had reached 106.