Report blames Maryland's training staff for player's death

Maryland Terrapins players wear shirts in memory of late teammate Jordan McNair during pregame warmups last week.Photo: Art Pittman-USA TODAY Sports

Dr. Rod Walters: "There was a failure to identify symptoms and aggressively treat it."

An independent report released Friday on the death of Maryland football player Jordan McNair placed blame on the training staff for its lack of action.

According to the report, trainers did not put the 19-year-old McNair in an ice bath on May 29 as he suffered from heat stroke because of his size. It also took trainers 34 minutes to move McNair off the practice field and a one hour and 39 minutes before an ambulance arrived to take him to a hospital for evaluation and treatment.

McNair died June 13 of heat stroke.

"There was a failure to identify symptoms and aggressively treat it," Dr. Rod Walters, a sports medicine consultant hired for the investigation, said in response to the report's findings.

The report further indicated that cold water tanks at the practice field to address body temperature were inadequate. McNair arrived at a local hospital with a temperature of 106 degrees.

Walters said, "There might have been the opportunity to reverse the patient's core temperature (with proper treatment)."

"Hindsight is 20/20," Walters said. "I think if we would have identified that earlier, it might have changed things."

A second investigation was launched to determine the state of the football program. Head coach D.J. Durkin was at the practice when McNair became traumatized, but there was no determination that Durkin was at fault.

Durkin remains on paid administrative leave until the second investigation into charges of bullying and verbal abuse in the football program. It's unknown when that investigation might wrap up.

The results of the first investigation were announced at Towson University during a meeting of the University System of Maryland Board of Regents.

The McNair family's attorneys were provided the results of the investigation on Thursday.

"The death of this young man is a tragedy, let there be no doubt about it, and we all feel very deeply about that," James Brady, the chair of the USM board of regents, said Friday. "But we are in the process of gathering facts, and I'm a fact guy. I like to know what the facts are before we make any conclusions."

Matt Canada remains the Terrapins' interim coach while Durkin is on leave. Head athletic trainer Wes Robinson and director of athletic training Steve Nordwall also are on administrative leave.

McNair's parents, Marty McNair and Tonya Wilson, have called for Durkin's firing.

Maryland plays host to Minnesota on Saturday in a Big Ten game.

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