Published: Sun, August 12, 2018
Sports | By Johanna Francis

Ben Jealous, gubernatorial candidate, calls for Maryland to suspend Durkin, Evans

Ben Jealous, gubernatorial candidate, calls for Maryland to suspend Durkin, Evans

I know DJ Durkin personally.

"At this time, the best decision for our football program is to place Maryland Head Coach DJ Durkin on leave so we can properly review the culture of the program".

ESPN reported allegations of a "toxic culture" in Maryland's football program that included excessive verbal abuse, a coach purposely throwing small weights in the direction of players and the "punitive" use of food for players who were overweight or underweight. ESPN said the players spoke on the condition of anonymity out of fear of repercussions of talking publicly. Sources also told ESPN.com that Court, assistant athletic director of sports performance was also placed on leave.

Maryland is conducting an external investigation into offensive lineman Jordan McNair's death after a May workout. Heatstroke was eventually determined to be the cause of his death.

A general view of the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets and Maryland Terrapins game at Byrd Stadium on November 3, 2012 in College Park, Maryland.

Dr. Rod Walters, a former college athletic trainer, has been hired by Maryland to investigate the circumstances of the death; a report is expected by September 15, The Associated Press reported. McNair's parents hired a Baltimore law firm to also investigate.

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The results of these probes will determine the future for Durkin and two staffers from the strength and conditioning program, who were previously placed on administrative leave.

Jealous, a Democrat and former NAACP head, said Durkin and Evans "are ultimately responsible for ensuring the safety of our student-athletes".

UMD officials added in the statement that the school was committed to "examining and addressing any such reports when they are brought to our attention".

Maryland's gubernatorial candidates weighed in on the controversy on Saturday.

August 10, 2018: ESPN.com reports allegations of a toxic coaching culture under Durkin and Court.

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