August 28, 2018 / 8:59 PM / 2 months ago

Maryland investigators talking to players, coaches: report

Investigators looking into the circumstances surrounding the death of offensive lineman Jordan McNair have begun talking to Maryland players and coaches this week, according to a report from ESPN on Tuesday.

Two separate groups are conducting investigations: one from Walters Inc. examining McNair’s hospitalization and death, and another an eight-person committee appointed by the University System of Maryland board of regents digging into the program’s culture.

The board of regents, which voted to take control of the two investigations involving the Maryland football program earlier this month, will hold a conference call on Thursday in order to receive updates.

Assistant coaches who were present when McNair first suffered heatstroke on May 29 were interviewed Monday, interim coach Matt Canada said.

“As a staff, we all feel it was important to have an honest and productive conversation,” Canada said. “I know the commission is working hard to gain all the information they need to meet their charge.”

Walters, Inc. was hired by the university in late June to investigate whether staff members followed proper protocol in treating McNair the day the 19-year-old was hospitalized after falling ill during a team workout. McNair died from heatstroke on June 13. That inquiry is expected to be complete by Sept. 15, and the results will be made public, according to university president Wallace D. Loh.

A separate investigation, initiated by Loh, is being conducted to examine allegations that emerged in a separate ESPN report of a toxic culture within the football program, including strong accusations against head coach DJ Durkin and strength and conditioning coach Rick Court. Durkin was placed on leave earlier this month, and Court parted ways with the school on Aug. 14.

There is no timetable for the second investigation.

“We’ve been dealing with this for a couple of months,” Canada said. “It’s been a very up and down situation. We deal with grief differently. Every player does, every person does, every family does. We’re never going to be done with that. It’s not like it’s ever going to go away. We’re not asking it to go away.

“When our players play, they want to play well. They want to play well for each other, they want to play well for Jordan. It’s important to them. It’s always there ... but we’re doing our jobs.”

—Field Level Media

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