More than two years after Maryland football player Jordan McNair died during a workout of heat stroke, the university has reached a $3.5 million settlement with McNair's parents, Marty McNair and Tonya Wilson. The total of the settlement was reported by ESPN's Heather Dinich.
The amount is pending approval from the Maryland Board of Public Works, which will meet on Jan. 27.
"This has been a long and painful fight, but we will attempt to find closure even though this is a wound that will never, ever fully heal," Marty McNair and Tonya Wilson said in a joint statement issued by their attorney. "We are focused on honoring Jordan's legacy so that his death was not in vain. This includes protecting student athletes of all levels of competition, increasing awareness, education, and prevention of all heat related illnesses, empowering student athletes, and introducing legislation nationwide so that no parent should have to wait this long for closure where their child has been treated unfairly or unjustly."
McNair was a redshirt freshman when he collapsed during a team workout on May 29, 2018. He died two weeks later at age 19. An investigation into the incident revealed that McNair, a 6-foot-5, 325-pound offensive lineman, became ill while running sprints, and it took over an hour for Maryland's training staff to call 911.
According to the report, head football athletic trainer Wes Robinson yelled at staffers to "drag [McNair] across the field" after McNair had difficulty finishing the sprints and needed teammates to support him. A further investigation into the culture of the Maryland football program found a toxic culture of intimidation under then-head coach DJ Durkin, who was ultimately fired.
Marty McNair recently published a book, Can My Child Play?, in which he expressed regret at trusting Maryland coaches to look out for his son's well-being.
"How was I so trusting of these coaches who sat at our table before signing day promising to treat him as one of their own?" McNair wrote. "These same coaches who didn't have the integrity to call us and tell us Jordan got hurt on the first day of conditioning drills. The same coach that didn't ride in the ambulance to the hospital with our son, after promising us that he'd protect him.
"I made the wrong decision about who to trust with the thing that mattered most to me in the world."