Mary­land parts ways with train­ers in­volved in treat­ment of McNair

The Star Democrat - - SPORTS -

COL­LEGE PARK (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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