South Carolina Coach Will Muschamp Defends DJ Durkin



South Carolina coach Will Muschamp was given the opportunity to defend Marylandcoach DJ Durkin during media availability on Saturday. Muschamp was asked about restraint as a coach — and knowing the line for intensity with dealing with players — in relation to the ongoing investigation at Maryland following the death of offensive lineman Jordan McNair.

“I think the big thing is that you need to criticize the performance not the performer. That’s something we talk about as a staff a lot. There’s a certain way you can talk to a young man about how he’s playing and what he needs to do to improve,” he explained.

Durkin not only worked for Muschamp for four years at Florida, but the two had spoken the morning of this media availability. The Gamecocks’ coach was very much up to speed on the ESPN report alleging a toxic culture in the football program and had some harsh words for the players and ex-staffers who helped contribute to painting the picture for the story.

“I know DJ Durkin. He worked for me for four years at the University of Florida. He’s an outstanding football coach, but he’s also an outstanding husband and a father and he treats people with respect,” Muschamp said. “And I’ll use your word, ‘alleged’ article, there’s no credibility in anonymous sources. If that former staff member had any guts, why didn’t he put his name on that. I think that’s gutless.

“And in any business, and in any company, and in any football team, especially here in August, you can find a disgruntled player that’s probably not playing. I think it’s a lack of journalistic integrity to print things with anonymous sources.

Maryland is in the process of investigating claims of verbal abuse alleged in the story. According to the Associated Pressathletic director Damon Evans has spoken with the team and Durkin is still leading the program but strength and conditioning coach Rick Court has been placed on paid leave while the school conducts its investigation.
Bruce Posner, ESPN Report 2018, NCAA Football
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