COLLEGE PARK, Md. (WJZ) — Shocking new details from the University of Maryland are shedding light on what happened and what didn’t happen the day 19-year-old football player Jordan McNair collapsed after a team workout.
The university is apologizing and making big promises.
This new information about McNair’s final moments on the field comes as the university announces a new investigation, which will dig into the inner workings of the football team.
“The university accepts legal and moral responsibility for the mistakes that our training staff made on that fateful workout day,” said University of Maryland President Wallace D. Loh during a press conference.
A program under the national microscope is now under investigation.
Loh announced Tuesday that a 4-man committee has been assembled to investigate serious allegations of a culture of intimidation and fear fostered within the university’s football program.
An alleged environment that pushed players to emotional and physical limits before McNair died after a team workout in May.
“We take those reports very seriously, but I think due process does require us to lay out the facts, give people a chance to respond, and then we will act,” Loh said.
Five staffers — including head coach DJ Durkin — were suspended Friday.
Head strength and conditioning coach Rick Court then resigned.
Loh also gave preliminary results of what happened to McNair after he collapsed from heat stroke on the field.
The report finds, athletic trainers made huge mistakes, and did not follow the emergency response plan, diagnose McNair properly, take his temperature, or immerse him in cold water.
President Loh and UMD Athletic Director Damon Evans presented the tragic findings personally to McNair’s parents Tuesday morning.
“There are no words to say to Jordan’s parents that are good enough,” Evans said. “I have looked into the eyes of a grieving mother and father. There is simply nothing good enough.”
Attorneys for McNair’s parents released a statement in response saying in part:
“While Marty and Tonya will never get another day with Jordan, Dr. Loh’s words were meaningful to them and give them some comfort that he will put the university on the path to change the culture of the program.”
“No Maryland student-athlete will ever be in the situation where his or her life and safety and life will be at-risk, especially when that risk is foreseeable,” Loh added.
These were just the preliminary findings into McNair’s death. The full investigation is set to be completed in the middle of September.
President Loh says he’ll personally present those findings to the McNair family before they are made public.