Jordan McNair’s parents react to Maryland’s decision to retain DJ Durkin
BALTIMORE — Jordan McNair's parents said Tuesday that the University of Maryland Board of Regents' recommendation to retain football coach DJ Durkin has made an already difficult situation even worse.
"I feel like I've been punched in the stomach, and somebody spit in my face," McNair's father, Martin, said.
"I miss my son every day," his mother, Tonya Wilson, added. "And today, it just didn't help."
Jordan McNair, who was an offensive lineman for the Terrapins, suffered heat illness during a workout on May 29 and died June 13. His death prompted an investigation from the university, as well as media reports that the culture within the program was "toxic."
McNair's parents spoke roughly two hours after the board held a news conference Tuesday about the findings of an independent commission's investigation related to that "toxic" characterization. The investigation determined that the culture within the program was not "toxic" but found that there had been several troubling incidents and signs of dysfunction in the athletic department.
MARYLAND FOOTBALL: Durkin to be reinstated after Jordan McNair investigation
WOLKEN: It makes no sense for Maryland to keep Durkin
Hassan Murphy, an attorney for the McNair family, slammed the board's actions as "callous" and "indefensible."
"Today, the board ratified and validated the heartbreaking actions by Coach Durkin and his staff toward Jordan in May by continuing the employment of the man who failed in his primary responsibility to Jordan," said Murphy, the managing partner of Murphy, Falcon & Murphy. "How can a student-athlete be called a p—y as he is in the early stages of death, dying before their eyes, with no action taken, and yet no one be held accountable?"
In addition to recommending that Durkin be reinstated as head coach, the board also indicated that it believes athletic director Damon Evans should remain in his role. University president Wallace Loh, meanwhile, announced that he will retire in June.
Contact Tom Schad at [email protected] or on Twitter @Tom_Schad.
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