The University of Maryland puts football coach DJ Durkin on leave

Maryland placed head coach DJ Durkin on administrative leave Saturday, while the school analyzed allegations of misbehavior by soccer personnel.

Maryland placed head coach DJ Durkin on administrative leave Saturday, while the school analyzed allegations of misbehavior by soccer personnel, apparent misdeeds that came to light after the death of a player.

Durkin left when the school investigates the death of 19-year-old offensive lineman Jordan McNair, who was hospitalized on May 29 after training on the team and died on June 13. Offensive coordinator Matt Canada will be the interim coach.

In an open letter, sports director Damon Evans wrote: "At this time, the best decision for our football program is to release the head football coach of Maryland, DJ Durkin, so that we can properly review the culture of the program." .

Earlier on Saturday, Rick Court, the head of the football team's fitness and strength team, received paid leave while the school investigated allegations that he verbally abused and humiliated the players, according to a person briefed on the situation. .

Maryland placed head coach DJ Durkin on administrative leave Saturday, while the school analyzed allegations of misbehavior by soccer personnel.

Maryland placed head coach DJ Durkin on administrative leave Saturday, while the school analyzed allegations of misbehavior by soccer personnel.

Offensive lineman Jordan McNair died of heat stroke after strenuous team training

Offensive lineman Jordan McNair died of heat stroke after strenuous team training

Offensive lineman Jordan McNair died of heat stroke after strenuous team training

Maryland has also placed two members of the athletic training staff that it did not identify in its absence as it investigates the death of McNair.

Dr. Rod Walters, a former college athletic trainer, has been hired by Maryland to investigate the circumstances of the death. A report is expected for September 15. McNair's parents are being represented by Baltimore attorney Bill Murphy, whose firm is also investigating.

In his open letter, Evans wrote: "The external review of the tragic death of Jordan McNair continues, and we are committed to publicly publishing the report prepared by a national and independent expert."

ESPN reported that athletic football coach Wes Robinson and athletic training director Steve Nordwall were fired by Maryland.

An ESPN story on Friday cited unidentified players, former players and former members of the Durkin team, who argued that Court and Durkin created a toxic culture within the program.

The accusation in the report included that the players were forced to eat in excess, despised, humiliated and submitted to an "extreme verbal abuse".

Maryland athletic director Damon Evans said McNair began to get sick after completing his training. He said that coaches began to "provide the necessary attention" once they noticed

Maryland athletic director Damon Evans said McNair began to get sick after completing his training. He said that coaches began to "provide the necessary attention" once they noticed

Maryland athletic director Damon Evans said McNair began to get sick after completing his training. He said that coaches began to "provide the necessary attention" once they noticed

"The safety and well-being of our student athletes is our highest priority," Evans wrote. "These supposed behaviors are not consistent with the values ‚Äč‚Äčthat I expect all of our staff to adhere to and we should do better."

Durkin is beginning his third season in Maryland. The former Michigan defensive coordinator, 40 years old, is 11-15 in two seasons after receiving a $ 12.5 million five-year contract in December 2015.

Keisha Staples, the mother of junior defensive back Antoine Brooks Jr., told The Associated Press that she is close to a group of eight-player parents who want to meet with Evans and school officials to express their "total support" for Durkin.

Brooks was part of Durkin's first recruiting class in 2016.

Staples said his son had never told him about the inappropriate behavior of Durkin or Court, and that Durkin has been open and accessible when Brooks had a problem.

"I'm sure not everyone has had the same experience we've had, but we've had a good experience," Staples said.

Staples said he never had any interaction with Court.

"I do not want the stigma to be in Maryland, this is a toxic culture," Staples said. & # 39; This is a football culture & # 39;

She added: They're already dealing with the death of their teammate. Now they have to deal with the loss of their coach. "

ESPN published a report on Friday detailing the abusive and toxic football culture at the university under the tutelage of head coach D.J. Durkin. The death was investigated in relation to the report

ESPN published a report on Friday detailing the abusive and toxic football culture at the university under the tutelage of head coach D.J. Durkin. The death was investigated in relation to the report

ESPN published a report on Friday detailing the abusive and toxic football culture at the university under the tutelage of head coach D.J. Durkin. The death was investigated in relation to the report

Durkin took Court to Maryland to lead the force and conditioning staff in 2016. Court had been the main strength coach in the state of Mississippi since 2014 under coach Dan Mullen. Court also worked with Durkin at Bowling Green in 2005 and & # 39; 06, when Durkin was an assistant.

Mississippi State Field Marshal Nick Fitzgerald expressed support for the Court on Saturday. The first two seasons of Fitzgerald with the Bulldogs coincided with the time of Court that led the strengthening program in the school.

"He worked us hard," Fitzgerald told the AP. "It was definitely hard training, but in the end he did not go looking for anyone, he was not willing to hurt anyone, his job is to make us physically fit and ready for the season and that is exactly what he did. He crossed the line or did something crazy like that.

More college football AP: https://apnews.com/tag/Collegefootball and https://twitter.com/AP_Top25

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