Maryland's board of regents reportedly found several failures within the university's football program following the death of OL Jordan McNair.
The Maryland board of regents reportedly found several failures within the university's football program but deemed it was not a "toxic culture," according to The Washington Post.
The commission reportedly concluded its eight-week external report and found that "the Athletics Department lacked a culture of accountability, did not provide adequate oversight of the football program." It also reportedly said that the department "failed to provide Mr. Durkin with the tools, resources, and guidance necessary to support and educate a first-time head coach in a major football conference." According to the Post, the report did not provide any recommendations on personnel decisions regarding the future of Durkin or other employees.
The Post obtained a copy of the report, which found the following conclusions:
• "During Mr. Durkin’s tenure, the Athletics Department lacked a culture of accountability, did not provide adequate oversight of the football program, and failed to provide Mr. Durkin with the tools, resources, and guidance necessary to support and educate a first-time head coach in a major football conference."
• "Mr. Court, on too many occasions, acted in a manner inconsistent with the University’s values and basic principles of respect for others."
• "Both Mr. Durkin and leadership in the Athletics Department share responsibility for the failure to supervise [strength and conditioning coach Rick] Court."
• "The University leadership bears some responsibility for the ongoing dysfunction of the Athletics Department;"
• "Maryland should institute a strong 'medical model' for student-athlete care to improve health outcomes and ensure that the University is a leader in collegiate sports medicine best practices."
Court reportedly "tried to humiliate players in front of their teammates" by "throwing food, weights, and on one occasion a trash can full of vomit." The strength and conditioning coach also allegedly used homophobic slurs. Court denied the allegations but others interviewed by the commission confirmed the accounts, per the Post.
Durkin reportedly had an "open door" policy but players and coaches felt that they could not express views that varied from his, especially criticisms of Court.
Questions of the handling of Maryland's football program came after offensive lineman Jordan McNair died on June 13, two weeks after he collapsed at a team workout.
On August 10, ESPN published an explosive report detailing a "toxic culture" with the football program. It outlined a culture of fear and intimidation fostered under Durkin, singling out Court in particular. The following day the university placed Durkin on administrative leave.
Maryland president Wallace Loh and athletic director Damon Evans announced on August 14 that they 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.' Evans also announced at that press conference that Maryland parted ways with Court.