Md. university system Board of Regents to take control of investigation into football player’s death

WASHINGTON — The University System of Maryland’s Board of Regents voted unanimously Friday to assume control of the investigation into the death of 19-year-old Jordan McNair, the football player who died in June after suffering a heatstroke during a conditioning test.

The board also voted to take on an investigation into the culture of the football program at the University of Maryland’s College Park campus. An ESPN report on the football program referred to it as “toxic.”

Following that report, head coach DJ Durkin was placed on administrative leave, along with other members of the school’s athletics staff. The team’s strength and conditioning coach, Rick Court, resigned Monday.

“Our goal is to ensure that all system universities, including UMCP, are actively working to protect the health and safety of every student and to foster a supportive culture in which everyone can flourish,” board Chair James Brady said in a statement Friday.

In this same statement, Maryland’s university system said it would announce more details about the board’s plans in the coming week.

The board met via conference call in a closed session that lasted just short of four hours. It also asked the attorney general’s office to represent the College Park campus and the University System of Maryland on “any and all legal claims” in McNair’s death.

University of Maryland President Wallace Loh was quoted in the statement as saying he welcomed the board’s oversight into the student-athlete’s death.

Earlier this week, Loh issued a public apology to McNair’s family, saying the school “takes legal and moral responsibility” for “mistakes” in McNair’s treatment.

A report into McNair’s death compiled by a team of sports-medicine experts is expected by September.

WTOP’s Jack Moore contributed to this report. 

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