The findings from an independent report into the handling of Maryland football player Jordan McNair has been released, and the report puts blame for the death of McNair on the athletic trainers who were on-hand.
“There was a failure to identify symptoms and aggressively treat it,” sports medicine consultant Dr. Rod Walters stated while addressing the report’s findings.
Although it was confirmed that doing so would have significantly improved the chances of successfully treating McNair, McNair was not placed in an ice bath while experiencing symptoms of heat stroke because an athletic trainer was concerned about his size. On top of that, there was a 34-minute delay in getting McNair off the practice field at the first sign of his symptoms and it took a total of one hour and 39 minutes before McNair was taken away in an ambulance for further medical attention.
The report details why cold water tanks were not available either, stating that the cold water tanks that were available at the time of the practice were inadequate.
Board of Regents Chair Jim Brandy denied saying whether or not this investigation was a display of negligence within the football program, but said he would like to gather more facts before saying whether or not that would be the case.
Maryland head coach DJ Durkin was confirmed to have been on the scene at the time of the heat-induced trauma, but there was no decision made on his fate on the basis of this report by the Maryland Board of Regents. However, Durkin will remain on administrative leave until the second investigation into the Maryland football program concludes. A second investigation has been ongoing regarding the accusations of being a football program with a so-called toxic culture. There is no timeline for when that investigation will wrap up, nor is there any suggestion as to when a decision on Durkin’s future with the program will ultimately be determined.
While a cloud of uncertainty hovers above the football program at Maryland amid ongoing investigations, the program is preparing for a new college football season and will use it to honor Jordan McNair.
The players took the initiative to announce Maryland will wear a special helmet decal to pay tribute to McNair, who died during an offseason workout earlier this year. Each player’s helmet will include a decal showing McNair’s uniform number, 79, this season. Maryland will also pause for a moment of silence in McNair’s honor twice this season. The first will come before the season opener against Texas in FedEx Field on September 1. Maryland will again observe a moment of silence before the home opener against Temple on September 15.
And that’s just the start of it all. In the years to come, one Maryland football player will be awarded a scholarship named in McNair’s honor. This will help preserve the memory of McNair and create something positive within the Maryland football program in response to a tragedy.
In addition to the helmet decal and scholarship, Maryland will also preserve McNair’s locker and the offensive line meeting room will be named in his honor as well.
Maryland players have stated no player will wear McNair’s uniform number through what would have been his senior season (2020) and he will be honored along with his senior classmates.
While much angst has been the focus on how Maryland handled the passing of McNair and the conditions that led to his untimely death, it is good to see Maryland find ways to serve in a positive manner.
The University System of Maryland Board of Regents is taking over control of two investigations related to the Maryland football program, a statement from the regents said Friday evening. That decision was made following a unanimous vote by the regents on Friday.
“Earlier today, the Board of Regents was fully briefed by UMCP President Wallace Loh about the circumstances of [Maryland football player Jordan McNair]’s tragic death, about the actions that have been taken since, and finally about the alarming allegations that have emerged in the last week related to the football program,” Board of Regents Chair James Brady said in a released statement. “After a long and robust discussion, the board voted unanimously to assume responsibility for the investigations into these two separate issues. Our goal is to ensure that all system universities, including UMCP, are actively working to protect the health and safety of every student and to foster a supportive culture in which everyone can flourish.”
The two investigations currently ongoing at Maryland are connected to the response to the death of McNair and about the culture of the Maryland football program following a report detailing alleged intimidation by a now former strength coach working for head coach D.J. Durkin.
No decisions on the status of Durkin or any others within the Maryland football program or university have been announced at this time. More details about the board’s plans moving forward will be announced sometime in the next week, according to the released statement from the board of regents.