The University of Maryland enters a phase of intensive reflection after Jordan McNair - a redshirt freshman lineman on the football team - passed away after battling severe complications stemming from heat stroke suffered at football practice. Preliminary results of an external investigation conclude that Maryland did not provide appropriate emergency response - prompting University President Wallace D. Loh to issue a heartfelt apology to McNair's parents, and strength coach Rick Court to resign.
The Maryland Diamondback: Arya Hodjat pens a scorching exposé of Maryland Football's toxic ethos that culminated in this tragedy:
• "Among the allegations in the ESPN article: a player who said he was forced to overeat until he vomited as a punishment, harsh verbal belittling of players' masculinity during workouts — including one player being mocked after he passed out — and a player who was aiming to lose weight being forced to eat candy bars while watching his teammates work out."
• "When asked at a journalism school event May 9 about the concussions and head trauma often linked with playing football, Durkin denied there was a link between concussions and CTE..."
• "'Now that we get to camp, it just seems like regular business," an unnamed player told ESPN. "That's when I started to get upset because I feel like nothing's really changed. Have these guys learned their lesson?'"
Purdue Exponent: Sam McKewon spotlights the University of Nebraska's closely-clutched mantra going into the athletic year: proactivity.
• "[Athletic Director] Moos said he preaches proactivity. He meets with his six-person senior staff for two hours each Tuesday morning and is planning an all-staff meeting soon for more than 350 employees..."The safety and the well-being of our student-athletes is the most important, right there with getting them toward their degrees academically," Moos said.
The Bottom Line:
If the heat of moral culpability does not force change within Maryland Athletics' upper ranks, an external investigation and scalding scrutiny should drive internal review. A cringeworthy aspect of Maryland's response to the tragedy is its incongruity in willingness to accept responsibility. While President Loh, and Athletic Director Damon Evans visibly drip with anguish and stretch to assume responsibility, ex-strength and conditioning coach Rick Court addressed his next professional steps, and a "GO TERPS" in his resignation this week.