The attorney for the family of late Maryland offensive lineman Jordan McNair has come forward calling for the dismissal of Terps head coach D.J. Durkin.
Durkin has been put on administrative leave by the school following an explosive report from ESPN’s Heather Dinich, Adam Rittenberg and Tom VanHaaren. In it there are allegations of verbal and physical abuse against players, as well as accusations that Durkin and his staff did not do enough to help McNair when he collapsed from heatstroke during a May workout.
McNair died two weeks later on June 13. In an interview with ESPN, his family’s attorney, Billy Murphy, called for Durkin’s firing.
Murphy described Durkin and his staff as having “absolute indifference” toward McNair’s life.
Murphy said there are three reasons why Durkin should be fired.
“No. 1, what he did,” Murphy said, “No. 2, what he didn’t do, and No. 3, the impact on this football program.”
The workout that led to McNair’s death began at around 4:15 p.m. ET on May 29. Murphy told ESPN that McNair had a seizure at around 5 p.m. following a sprint.
University officials are reportedly denying Murphy’s account of McNair suffering a seizure at 5 p.m. A 911 call at 5:58 p.m. described McNair as “hyperventilating after exercising and unable to control his breath.”
“Had this coaching staff done even minimal heatstroke training, they would have seen immediately that that’s what was going on,” Murphy added. “They would have iced him and called the ambulance immediately, but there was this unexplainable one-hour delay from the time that he had a seizure and the time the ambulance actually came. That’s really concerning.”
Murphy said he “absolutely” believed that McNair was not given proper medical care.
There’s still plenty to be uncovered in this investigation. As Murphy notes in the interview, the footage of the May 29 workout has not been released yet. Perhaps that could shed more light on the timeline of what happened.
In the meantime, Durkin remains on leave. Given the nature of the allegations he’s facing, it seems likely he will not be coaching for Maryland any time soon, and possibly not ever again.
[ ESPN ]