Maryland president Wallace Loh accepted “legal and moral” responsibility for former Terps offensive lineman Jordan McNair’s June death following his collapse due to heat exhaustion from a team-organized workout. The purpose of that Aug. 14 press conference was to announce two parallel investigations into the football program — one examining the events that led to McNair’s collapse and the response therein, and another probing the culture of the football program under D.J. Durkin’s leadership.
The first of those investigations is now complete, and that independent investigation found the school culpable in McNair’s death.
The investigation established the timeline for McNair’s showing of symptoms to the time emergency medical personnel was called: Thirty-four minutes passed between when McNair first started cramping to when he was taken off the field, an hour and seven minutes from the onset of symptoms to when 911 was called, and a total of 99 minutes until he left in an ambulance.
Staffer yelled at interns to "to drag him across the field." McNair "could barely stand." pic.twitter.com/ZY7ViEc3vy
— A.J. Perez (@byajperez) September 21, 2018
Part of the reason Maryland was slow to respond to McNair, investigators found, was that he complained of “things like back cramps, low back pain, cramping,” which is “atypical” for heat stroke victims.
Dr Rod Walters on #JordanMcNair investigation: UMD policies meet guideline. there was a delay in identifying the severity of symptoms. No documentation of vital signs, failure to notice escalating symptoms and aggressively treating.
— Kate Amara (@kateamaraWBAL) September 21, 2018
A major question to emerge since May 29 was why McNair was not placed into a cold tub, which experts said could have saved his life. The reason offered Friday was McNair’s size; Maryland’s head athletic trainer Wes Anderson told investigators that, due to “convulsive movements” McNair was exhibiting, the training staff feared he might drown. Instead, trainers attempted to cool him down with cold towels and ice packs.
DJ Durkin was on the field during the workout but not involved in the care of McNair, per Walters.
— Nicole Auerbach (@NicoleAuerbach) September 21, 2018
As for Durkin’s status, he remains on administrative leave until the completion of the second investigation. Maryland board chairman James Brady said Friday he expects that investigation to be completed “soon.”
As always, stay tuned to The Scoop for the latest.