WASHINGTON, D.C. (WJZ) — Months after Jordan McNair’s death, the fallout has reached Capitol Hill.
Top leaders for the University of Maryland went to Capitol Hill on Wednesday to answer questions about the future of the institution after a student-athlete, Jordan McNair, died from heat stroke.
“The death of any young person is a tragedy, a death of a young person that could have been avoided is an even greater tragedy,” said Rep. Steny Hoyer.
Wednesday, Maryland’s congressional delegation summoned University of Maryland leaders to DC to explain what changes are being made to prevent another tragedy.
“University of Maryland is a great institution, fantastic institution, but it had a problem and you always need to learn from your past mistakes so you can move forward,” said Rep. Dutch Ruppersberger.
Earlier this year, the 19-year-old offensive lineman became ill after a practice, then died of a heat stroke.
The Board of Regents initially supported reinstating the head coach who was in charge, but later backed down.
“They have acknowledged that the way it was handled was wrong,” said Sen. Ben Cardin.
Lawmakers said the new chair of the Board of Regents has reassured them changes have been made to prevent a repeat of what happened to McNair.
“I’d like to once again apologize to the McNair family. This was a tragedy and this is a tragedy that none of us ever want to see again,” said Linda Gooden, chair of Board of Regents.
After a year in turmoil, the new head coach, Michael Locksley, will be introduced to the campus this week.
Students who talked to WJZ said they are remaining positive in welcoming the new coach.
“I’m certainly happy, I think it was the best hire they could have made,” A student said Wednesday.
Lawmakers said they are optimistic about the school’s future, including Rep. Elijah Cummings who says he attends the same church as McNair’s family.
“The McNair family has been very clear, they don’t want this to happen again,” Cummings said.