COLLEGE PARK, Md. (AP) — The fallout at the University of Maryland following the death of Jordan McNair continued with the dismissal of two trainers involved in the player’s treatment after he collapsed on the practice field in late May.
Head coach DJ Durkin was fired last week after being reinstated from paid administrative leave for one day.
Maryland has not formally announced the firing of the two trainers who were on paid leave, and has never released their names. However, a person familiar with the investigation told The Associated Press in August that football athletic trainer Wes Robinson and director of athletic training Steve Nordwall had been placed on leave following McNair’s death.
Athletic department spokesman Dustin Semonavick said Wednesday, “The trainers that were previously on administrative leave are no longer employed at the university.”
Robinson and Nordwall were put on leave while the school launched an external investigation into the death of McNair, an offensive lineman who was overcome by heat and exhaustion on May 29 and died on June 13.
Rick Court, the head of strength and conditioning, resigned in August.
Since McNair’s death, the school has had several embarrassing missteps in efforts to address mistakes that were made.
The university launched independent investigations into his treatment on the scene and the culture of the football program. The report on the handling of McNair determined that he was not provided the necessary aid and that the trainers waited too long to contact emergency medical personnel.
Dr. Rod Walters, a former college athletic trainer and sports medicine consultant who led the investigation, said more than an hour and a half elapsed between the time McNair collapsed and the departure of the ambulance from the campus.
Maryland athletic director Damon Evans acknowledged in August that the training staff failed to provide the proper treatment to McNair, a 19-year-old sophomore. University President Wallace Loh visited McNair’s parents to offer a personal apology for how the situation was handled.
Durkin was placed on leave in August. The attorney for McNair’s parents in August called for Durkin to be fired, and reiterated that assertion during a news conference that started a couple of hours after the board’s announcement.
Hassan Murphy, of Murphy, Falcon & Murphy, said the decision to retain Durkin was “callous and indefensible,” and could be a part of future legal actions.
A series of personnel moves have recently transpired.
Based on a report on the culture of the program, the University System of Maryland board of regents recommended the reinstatement of the coach. Durkin returned to the job on Oct. 31, but rapid backlash from students, players and state politicians prompted Loh to fire Durkin just over 24 hours after his return. A day after Durkin was fired, board chairman James Brady resigned.
McNair’s parents are considering taking legal action against the school.
Interim coach Matt Canada has been running the team this season, though his long-term future is unclear. Maryland takes a 5-4 record into Saturday’s game at Indiana.
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