When Marty McNair first met Maryland football coach D.J. Durkin, while on a recruiting visit at their home, Marty said Durkin promised him one thing: That he would take care of his son.
Now, while Durkin is on paid administrative leave following the death of Jordan McNair — who died of a heatstroke following a team workout in May, Marty thinks that Durkin deserves to lose his job.
“When I think of DJ Durkin, all I remember is him sitting at our kitchen table and assuring me that he would take care of my son,” Marty told ESPN, “and he did anything other than that.
“I think he should be relieved of his job. I don’t think that he should be allowed to coach anyone else’s child in an environment like this. My child died. That’s something we’ll never get back. That’s something that will never heal. Yeah, he needs to go.”
In fact, Jordan’s parents have reportedly told Maryland officials that they won’t discuss a settlement with the school until Durkin is fired, according to a 247Sports report.
Jordan collapsed during a conditioning workout on May 29 due to a heat stroke and was hospitalized. The 19-year-old died on June 13.
Tonya Wilson, Jordan’s mother, said she first learned that her son was in the hospital when a Maryland campus police officer called her around 8 p.m. — about two hours after the initial 911 call was placed.
She, though, never got any details.
“We got the call — I think it was around 8 p.m. — and we were told that we need to get to Washington Adventist [Hospital],” Wilson told ESPN. “The caller never said what happened to Jordan over the phone, but when we got to the hospital they said he suffered a seizure.”
Wilson said that Durkin and his wife called after the funeral “to offer their condolences,” but no other Maryland official ever contacted them.
“No, there was none,” Marty told ESPN. “It was very disheartening. But I didn’t hear anything from anyone.”
Marty told 247Sports that he never heard any details of the workout or the circumstances surrounding his death until after his funeral.
They also didn’t learn until Tuesday after a news conference that the Maryland training staff didn’t take Jordan’s temperature after he started overheating at the workout — which caused Wilson’s jaw to “literally” drop.
“That was my reaction: ‘Really?'” Wilson told ESPN. “I mean, I’m not in the medical field, and … first thing you should do, take his vitals. Check his temperature. I didn’t understand. I didn’t understand. Why not?”
Maryland president Wallace Loh and athletic director Damon Evans said on Tuesday that the university “accepts legal and moral responsibility for the mistakes our training staff made.” The investigation into the circumstances around Jordan’s death is currently ongoing. Loh also announced a separate investigation into the football program, which has come under fire after an ESPN report described the culture as “toxic.”
Billy Murphy, the McNair family attorney, has said that they will likely file a lawsuit against the school. Murphy told ESPN that he was “astounded” at Loh’s statement on Tuesday, but that it is now time to start having discussions with the university about a settlement.
“Now if that’s what they really mean, the next step will be to have discussions with them about the measure of damages to be paid to this young man’s family,” Murphy told ESPN. “And we anticipate a prompt resolution of this or else we’ll just go back to court.”
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