Maryland has placed head football coach DJ Durkin on administrative leave after an ESPN report depicted the culture surrounding the team in a very negative light, going as far as to imply that the culture was responsible for the death of Jordan McNair. The Terps have named offensive coordinator Matt Canada as the interim despite he never having coached a football game in his career. Non the less Canada has an impressive track record as an assistant. University President Wallace Loh issued the following statement earlier today.
Dear University of Maryland community,
I am profoundly disturbed by the media reports yesterday about verbally abusive and intimidating conduct by Maryland football coaches and staff towards our student athletes on the team.
Such behaviors contravene the educational mission and core values of our University. They are unacceptable. They will not be tolerated.
All of our coaches and staff who work with our student athletes are also teachers. Our responsibility as teachers is to inspire and enable students to perform at their best and expand the boundaries of their potential, in the classroom and/or on the athletic field. Humiliating and demeaning a student is not only bad teaching and coaching, it is an abuse of the authority of a teacher and coach.
I have directed Athletic Director Damon Evans to take actions necessary to ensure the safety and success of our student athletes. In addition, the University will retain an external expert to undertake a comprehensive examination of our coaching practices in the football program, with the goal that these practices reflect — not subvert — the core values of our University.
Today, Athletic Director Evans has placed Head Football Coach DJ Durkin on administrative leave while this comprehensive examination is conducted. This follows Athletic Director Evans’ decision to place other athletics staff members on administrative leave. Matt Canada will serve as Interim Head Football Coach.
The University of Maryland is committed to a football program that is safe and humane, and where our student-athletes are successful in their academic and athletic endeavors. This commitment will be carried out with accountability, fairness, and transparency.
I will follow-up with a progress update on this matter and on the tragic death of Jordan McNair.
Wallace D. Loh
President, University of Maryland
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