WASHINGTON — Following the death of his son, a father who forcefully called for the firing of the University of Maryland’s head football coach is now weighing in on the school president.
Last week on ABC’s “Good Morning America,” Jordan McNair’s father, Martin, said head coach DJ Durkin failed to keep his child safe. “Of course he should be fired,” he said, adding: “He shouldn’t be able to work with anybody else’s kid.”
Questions have swirled around Loh’s job, over issues including his handling of McNair’s death and his oversight of the football program. Loh had previously nixed a plan to overhaul the medical treatment program for athletes, in order to remove any influence by the school’s athletic department.
In a news conference last week, Loh admitted that the university bore legal and moral responsibility for mistakes made by training staff following McNair’s collapse from heatstroke and leading up to his death two weeks later. Loh also announced an investigation into allegations of bullying and intimidation by the coaching staff.
Still, Martin expressed support for the university president. “Dr. Loh is under fire at the university because of his statements accepting responsibility,” McNair’s father said, in a statement to news media. “It would be a complete shame if, after such a display of decency and humanity, Dr. Loh were to be let go.”
“Decency and transparency are the only path forward for our family, the university and its sports programs to heal and emerge as safe places for families to entrust their children,” Martin McNair added, stating that Loh’s continued tenure as president would be “critical” to ensuring the health of athletes.
Durkin is currently on administrative leave. The University System of Maryland’s Board of Regents has assumed control of investigations into McNair’s death and other inquiries into the culture of the Maryland football program.
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