Maryland head football coach DJ Durkin has been fired one day after he was reinstated by the university following a suspension over the death of a player during off season conditioning back in May.
Offensive lineman Jordan McNair collapsed of heatstroke on May 29th and ultimately died on June 13th. Durkin was immediately placed on administrative leave with pay while an investigation was conducted.
The decision to reinstate Durkin was met with protests from Maryland players who honor McNair prior to every home game by gathering around a field graphic of his jersey number 79.
At least six parents of Maryland players have spoken out against Durkin and the University for having failed to protect their children.
Offensive lineman Ellis McKennie was quoted as saying, “a group of people don’t have the courage to hold anyone responsible for his death. If only they had the courage Jordan did.”
Maryland Governor Larry Hogan also expressed his concern over the decision to reinstate Durkin as well as the Maryland Student Government Organization.
An ESPN report revealed a toxic coaching culture under Durkin and strength and conditioning coach Rick Court, who Durkin had hired. The program was beset by a “coaching environment based on intimidation and fear and extreme verbal abuse of players”. Durkin wasn’t fired for cause therefore he will receive a buyout of his contract. The Terrapins have posted a 5-3 record in 2018 under interim head coach Matt Canada.