Tracking the key events in the death of Maryland offensive lineman Jordan McNair, and investigation and DJ Durkin's firing.
It's been a tumultuous five months in College Park following the death of Maryland offensive lineman Jordan McNair on June 13. McNair collapsed from a heatstroke at a team workout two weeks prior.
Head coach DJ Durkin was fired by the university on Oct. 31, one day after the university accepted the board of regents's recommendation to reinstate him. Durkin had been on administrative leave since Aug. 11 after a report surfaced about a "toxic culture" within the Terrapins' football program.
To sort through what has transpired since McNair's collapse, here is a timeline of the events in College Park.
May 29: McNair, a 19-year-old redshirt freshman out of Owings Mills, Md., reportedly shows signs of exhaustion while running 110-yard sprints during a team workout, collapsing after having difficulty standing upright following the drill. The workout begins at 4:15 p.m., and the attorney for the McNair family tells ESPN that McNair has a seizure around 5 p.m., with an "unexplained" hour passing before a 911 call is made at 5:58 p.m. McNair is admitted to a local hospital at 6:36 p.m. in critical-but-stable condition, where his body temperature is recorded as 106 degrees. He is airlifted later that night to R Adams Cowley Shock Trauma Center in Baltimore.
June 5: "A Jordan McNair's Family Support Fund" GoFundMe is started while McNair is still hospitalized. It revealed that McNair received a liver transplant and was expected to have a long recovery in the hospital lasting several months.
June 13: McNair dies in the hospital.
"Our team is heartbroken with the loss of Jordan McNair," coach D.J. Durkin said in a statement. "Jordan was an incredible young man, and his passion and enthusiasm made him an invaluable and beloved member of our team. Jordan was a hard worker and he always had a smile on his face. He was an extremely talented football player and a humble and genuine human being. He embodied the essence of what it means to be a teammate. Jordan was a fighter. Over the past few weeks, Jordan never gave up with his family, friends and team by his side. Our team will continue to be inspired by the spirit of this brave fighter. Please continue to pray for Jordan’s family during this difficult time."
June 14: The school's athletic department holds a press conference the day after McNair's death, led by athletic director Damon Evans. Durkin is in attendance, along with Dr. Frank Henn, a team physician. Evans says that the school has brought in an outside party (Walters Inc., an athletic training consulting firm) to conduct an external review, having begun that process once McNair was hospitalized.
July 12: Maryland releases a summary of events surrounding McNair's death that, for the first time, states that Durkin was present at the May 29 workout. It also announces that full offseason workouts for the team have resumed, after having been held on a voluntary basis following McNair's death.
July 16: After the school opts to not disclose McNair's cause of death at its press conference, citing privacy reasons, the McNair family lists Jordan’s cause of death as heatstroke, caused when one's body temperature rises to a dangerous level.
McNair's parents Tonya Wilson and Martin McNair make the announcement on the site for the newly-created Jordan McNair Foundation, which establishes a scholarship fund in McNair's name and a "My Body, My Safety" program to educate students on heat-related health issues.
August 3: Following the completion of an external review by Walters Inc., Maryland released the findings of the external review by Walters Inc. to media outlets under the state's Public Information Act. The university also released a statement to the public upon the release: "Every football student-athlete was invited and encouraged to participate in the external review, and they were offered the opportunity to speak confidentially and directly with Walters Inc."
August 10: After a review of the procedures taken prior to McNair's collapse, Maryland released a statement on Friday announcing that unnamed members of its athletics staff were being placed on administrative leave.
"Following the death of Maryland football player Jordan McNair in June, the University of Maryland commissioned an external review of the procedures and protocols surrounding athletes’ health and safety," the statement said. "Pending the final outcome of this review, the university has placed members of the Athletics staff on administrative leave. We will be able to speak in greater detail when the review is complete and shared with the public. Our thoughts remain with Jordan McNair’s family, friends and teammates."
Shortly after Maryland released the statement, an explosive in-depth report published by ESPN on Friday detailed a "toxic" culture within the Terrapins football program, outlining a culture of fear and intimidation fostered under Durkin, singling out strength and conditioning coach Rick Court in particular. The report also featured McNair family attorney Billy Murphy’s assertion that roughly an hour elapsed between the first record of McNair having a seizure during the May 29 conditioning session and a 911 call being made. Maryland officials declined interviews on the matter, but did release a statement.
"At no point before or during the external review has a student-athlete, athletic trainer or coach reported a seizure occurring at 5 p.m.," the statement read. "We will be able to speak in greater detail when the review is complete and shared with the public."
August 11: Maryland athletics director Damon Evans announced in a statement that the university placed Durkin on administrative leave. The statement also said that the university plans to publicly release the report of their external review into McNair's death.
ESPN also reported that the previously unnamed members of the athletics staff placed on the leave Friday were head football athletic trainer Wes Robinson, director of athletic training Steve Nordwall and Rick Court, Maryland's assistant athletics director for sports performance.
August 12: The attorney for McNair's family calls for Maryland to fire Durkin. "No. 1, what he did," Murphy said to ESPN.com, "No. 2, what he didn't do, and No. 3, the impact on this football program." Murphy also said a civil lawsuit could be in the works depending on the outcome of an investigation into the football program.
August 14: Maryland president Wallace Loh and athletic director Damon Evans announce that they have apologized to McNair’s parents and that 'the university accepts legal and moral responsibility for the mistakes our training staff made on that fateful workout day of May 29.' Loh said that the training staff “misdiagnosed” McNair’s situation, and Evans revealed that McNair did not have his temperature taken, nor was he given cold water immersion to lower his body temperature. Evans announced that the university has parted ways with head strength and conditioning coach Rick Court.
In response to the Aug. 10 ESPN report on the program’s culture under Durkin, the details of which he said the school learned about for the first time when the story was published, Loh explained that he was establishing an independent four-person group to investigate the allegations.
August 16: Jordan McNair's parents speak out, saying Durkin should be fired.
"He shouldn't be able to work with anyone else's kid," Martin McNair told ABC's Good Morning America.
Jordan's mother, Tonya Wilson, shared with ESPN that when the family received a call to come to the hospital on May 29, no one told them what specifically happened to Jordan. Upon arriving, the family was informed that Jordan had suffered a seizure. His father also revealed that Jordan received a liver transplant, but it "didn't even do a lot" because his body had already experienced too much organ damage.
The Washington Post reported that Loh rejected a proposal to change the structure athletic health care at the university last year. A memo sent to Loh by then-AD Kevin Anderson asked for the university's athletic trainers to report to the University of Maryland School of Medicine in Baltimore and be separated from the influence of the school's athletic department. Loh reportedly nixed the proposal last August because he didn't want another insitiution to make medical personnel decisions.
August 17: The university's board of regents assumed control of the investigations into the culture of the football program and McNair's death.
August 18: Audio from an Aug. 17 radio interview with offensive lineman Oseh Saine and punter Wade Lees surfaced, in which both players defend Durkin. Saine confirmed certain allegations from the ESPN report regarding Maryland's "toxic culture."
September 12: Maryland announces that on Sept. 21 the board of regents will release the findings of an investigation into McNair's death.
September 12: ESPN reported that the law firm representing family of McNair filed notice of a possible lawsuit, which gives McNair’s parents the right to file a formal lawsuit within a year. There’s a total liability of more than $30 million. It specially names coach Durkin, Wes Robinson, Rick Court as "other persons involved."
September 12: The Washington Post reported that in President Loh advised newly appointed committee members that some of the allegations they would be investigating "probably occur in every football program" and the line between aggressive and abusive training techniques is "imprecise." Some of the appointed members have previous ties to the university and people involved in the investigation.
September 21: The University System of Maryland board of regents announced that the athletic training staff did not follow protocol when treating offensive lineman Jordan McNair's heatstroke symptoms at a May 29 workout. Board of regents chair James Brady said no personnel decisions were made following an investigation into McNair's death and head coach DJ Durkin remains on administrative leave. Brady said that a second investigation into the football program's culture under Durkin is ongoing and should be done "soon."
September 30: The investigation into allegations of abuse within the Maryland football program could wrap up as soon as Oct. 1 with the findings being delivered to the school's Board of Regents as soon as its Oct. 19 meeting. A report from The Washington Post detailed new abuse allegations and that one mother wrote a letter to the school in December 2016 that detailed the program's toxic culture.
October 25: Maryland's board of regents concluded its eight-week external report. The Washington Post obtained a copy of the report, which found that "the Athletics Department lacked a culture of accountability, did not provide adequate oversight of the football program." It also reportedly detailed ways Court tried to "humiliate" players, even using homophobic slurs. The report alledgedly did not provide recommendations on personnel decisions regarding the future of Durkin or other employees.
October 30: President Loh accepted the board's recommendation for Durkin to return from leave and Evans to retain his job as athletic director. Loh also announced that he plans to retire at the end of the 2018-19 academic year. Following the Tuesday announcement, several Maryland players reportedly walked out of a team meeting. McNair's father, Marty McNair, said, "I feel like I've been punched in the stomach, and somebody spit in my face."
October 30: The University of Maryland student government association has planned a rally in protest of the school's board of regents' decision to reinstate football coach DJ Durkin after an investigation into the program. The rally to "demand justice for Jordan McNair" will be held Nov. 1.
October 31: Maryland fired Durkin without cause. Matt Canada returned to his role as interim coach.
"A departure is in the best interest of the University, and this afternoon Coach Durkin was informed that the University will part ways," Loh said in a statement.
November 1: Maryland board of regents chairman James T. Brady stepped down after receiving backlash for the regents' recommendation to reinstate head coach DJ Durkin. The university initially accepted the recommendation before firing Durkin the following day due to immense public outrage.