COLLEGE PARK, Md. (WJZ) — As two investigations turn the spotlight on the University of Maryland football program, questions over which school leaders may face firing remain.
Despite rumors swirling about potential firings of coaching staff or President Loh, nothing has been officially confirmed.
The parents of Jordan McNair released a statement saying some should stay and some should go.
Their son died after a reportedly grueling practice in May.
McNair’s parents are saying the school should fire the head coach, but keep the university president.
“Our son’s death cannot and should not be a political football for competing factions or agendas or to settle prior scores,” the parents of Jordan McNair wrote in a statement.
As the future of the football program at the University of Maryland waits on the results of two investigations. Sparked by their son’s death after he collapsed from heatstroke during a May practice.
“The university accepts legal and moral responsibility for the mistakes that our training staff made on that fateful workout day,” UMD President Wallace Loh said earlier this month.
The investigations was handed over to the board of regents on Friday after rampant accusations that staff mistreated players, creating a toxic culture, and that they failed to get McNair proper medical treatment.
In their statement, McNair’s parents defended President Loh:
“We have heard rumblings that Dr. Loh is under fire at the University because of his statements accepting responsibility, on behalf of the University, for Jordan’s death. 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. Dr. Loh’s leadership is critical to this happening. Any notion that the Board of Regents can or should walk back from the acceptance of responsibility, or influence the investigations to water down their findings, would be self-defeating and would undermine the very high bar that Dr. Loh has set for the University and its programs going forward. The tragedy of our son’s death cannot and should not be a political football for competing factions or agendas or to settle prior scores. Dr. Loh did the right thing!”
They have not said the same about head coach DJ Durkin. They are calling for his permanent removal.
“He need to go. Any coach promises parents that they will take care of your child. Anything but that was done,” Martin McNair said.
An attorney for the McNair family held a press conference following the statement put out by McNair’s father voicing his support for University President Dr. Wallace Loh.
The statement said in part “It would be a complete shame if, after such a display of decency and humanity, Dr. Loh were to be let go,”
“What the family does not want and is concerned is happening is that Jordan’s death and this tragedy be used as a political football in College Park to either settle old scores or exert and draw lines of authority and power on campus that have nothing to do with the actual fact here,” Hassan Murphy, one of the family’s attorneys said, echoing the parent’s statement.
The family’s attorney stated that Martin McNair’s position that Durkin must go has not changed, and added that support is not the same as forgiveness.
“This is about decent, candor, humanity, humility,” Murphy said.