Maryland places DJ Durkin on administrative leave

Maryland Coach DJ Durkin speaks during last month’s Big Ten Conference media days

Maryland Coach DJ Durkin speaks during last month’s Big Ten Conference media days

Offensive coordinator Matt Canada will serve as interim head coach.

"I know D.J. Durkin personally", he said. Evans said in a statement, "I am extremely concerned by the allegations of unacceptable behaviors by members of our football staff detailed in recent media reports".

The most notable instance in the report involved Maryland offensive lineman Jordan McNair, who died in June as a result of a heat stroke caused from exhaustive sprints in a team workout just two weeks prior. Durkin had served as defensive coordinator at the University of MI and was brought to Maryland after previous coach Randy Edsall was sacked by the university. Evans said that the university is committed to fully investigating the program.

June 13, 2018: McNair dies in the hospital at age 19.

ESPN reported allegations of a "toxic culture" in Maryland's football program that included excessive verbal abuse, a coach purposely throwing small weights in the direction of players and the "punitive" use of food for players who were overweight or underweight.

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Ben Jealous, a candidate for Maryland governor, is also calling for the suspensions of Durkin and Evans, until an investigation into McNair's death has been finished.

"Following the death of Maryland football player Jordan McNair in June, the University of Maryland commissioned an external review of the procedures and protocols surrounding athletes' health and safety".

Athletic Director Damon Evans, in a letter to the university's community, disputed the accusations in the ESPN report, stating that the claims were "not reflective of the culture we seek to build here". The report alleges multiple trainers essentially dragged him across the finish, after he already began exhibiting signs of serious fatigue.

After the Maryland athletic department placed Durkin on leave Saturday afternoon, Gov. Larry Hogan released a statement in support of the decision.

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