SC football coach Will Muschamp defended former assistant D.J. Durkin on Saturday, accusing the media of irresponsibly sharing anonymous accounts of alleged "toxic culture" inside the Maryland football program.
He passed away days later, on June 13. Evans announced that an external investigation will be conducted but declined to name the organization that will conduct it. The story followed the tragic death of football player Jordan in June, who was allegedly not cared for properly in the events leading up to his death. McNair's parents are being represented by Baltimore attorney Bill Murphy, whose firm is also investigating.
Athletic Director Damon Evans, in a letter to the university's community, disputed the accusations in the ESPN report, stating that the claims were "not reflective of the culture we seek to build here".
Ben Jealous, the Democrat running for governor, published a tweet calling for Evans and Durkin's suspensions, ahead of the announcement that Durkin was placed on leave. The report alleges multiple trainers essentially dragged him across the finish, after he already began exhibiting signs of serious fatigue. The sources also revealed allegations of unhealthy eating habits and using food punitively against the players.
As of now, offensive coordinator Matt Canada, who was hired by Maryland in January, will be the interim head coach.
While not every investigation is complete, there were major developments Friday afternoon, as ESPN released an article detailing a "toxic culture" behind the scenes, including several eyewitness accounts of the day Jordan McNair suffered his heatstroke. Evans said in a statement, "I am extremely concerned by the allegations of unacceptable behaviors by members of our football staff detailed in recent media reports". Sources also told ESPN.com that Court, assistant athletic director of sports performance was also placed on leave. He reiterated his support for the full investigation of the program.