Barbara Haddock Taylor/Baltimore Sun/TNS via Getty Images

Maryland's board of regents recommended Tuesday that head coach DJ Durkin return to his job.

By Jenna West
October 30, 2018

Jordan McNair's parents are speaking out against the Maryland board of regents's decision to allow head coach DJ Durkin to return from leave.

"I feel like I've been punched in the stomach, and somebody spit in my face," Marty McNair, Jordan's father, said at a press conference Tuesday, per ESPN's Adam Rittenberg.

Hassan Murphy, the attorney for Jordan McNair's family, addressed the athletic department's mishandling of Jordan's collapse at a May 29 team workout.

"How can a student-athlete be called a p---y as he is in the early stages of death, dying before their eyes, with no action taken, and yet no one be held accountable?" Murphy said. "The university had an obligation to keep its student safe, and it failed."

Jordan McNair's mother, Tonya Wilson, also spoke at the press conference.

"I miss my son every day," Wilson said, per USA Today's Tom Schad. "And today, it just didn't help."

Maryland's board of regents recommended Tuesday that Durkin return as head coach, which university president Wallace D. Loh accepted. The board also recommended that athletic director Damon Evans retain his job. Loh announced that he plans to retire at the end of the 2018-19 academic year.

McNair, a 19-year-old redshirt freshman out of Owings Mill, Md., collapsed from a heatstroke at a team workout. The offensive lineman died two weeks later on June 13. Evans announced the following day that the university's athletic department hired a third party to conduct an external review, having begun that process once McNair was hospitalized.

College Football
A Timeline of Maryland OL Jordan McNair's Death and Its Aftermath

After McNair's death, questions were raised over the handling of Maryland's football program. On Aug. 10, ESPN published an explosive, in-depth report detailing a "toxic culture" within the program, outlining a culture of fear and intimidation fostered under Durkin, singling out strength and conditioning coach Rick Court. The following day Maryland placed Durkin on administrative leave.

Three days later Evans and Loh announced 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." 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 parted ways with Court.

Loh also explained that he was establishing an independent four-person group to investigate the allegations of the program's "toxic culture." The board of regents assumed control of the investigation three days later. On Sept. 21, the board released the investigation's findings, saying that the athletic staff did not follow protocol when treating McNair's heatstroke symptoms.

The board concluded its investigation into the football program's culture on Oct. 25. The Washington Post obtained a copy of the report, which found failures within the program but said it was not "toxic."

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