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University of Maryland Resources on Football Program External Review

August 21, 2019

Katie Lawson, 301-405-4621

Updated as of August 21, 2019

University of Maryland student-athlete Jordan McNair was hospitalized following a team workout May 29, and passed away June 13. The University accepted legal and moral responsibility for the mistakes made in his care. We have made changes to how we practice and train across all of our sports, and have committed to implementing all the recommendations from the external safety review. More information about our pledge: umd.edu/commitment.
In the response to the allegations that emerged in early August, we launched a commission to fully investigate the culture of our football program, which was led by the University System of Maryland Board of Regents. The university has agreed to implement all recommendations made by the commission to ensure the safety and well-being of all student-athletes. 
The below is a chronological listing of all the messages to our community and statements released by the University regarding the death of Jordan McNair and the independent investigation of our football culture.  
  • University of Maryland Appoints Dr. Yvette L. Rooks as Director of Sports Medicine and Lead Team Physician (August 21, 2019) 

COLLEGE PARK, Md. - The University of Maryland (UMD) has appointed Yvette L. Rooks, M.D., to serve as Director of Sports Medicine, Lead Team Physician and Assistant Director in the University Health Center (UHC). In these roles, Dr. Rooks will lead the UHC’s newly-created sports medicine department, and serve as the primary care clinician and sports medicine specialist to UMD student-athletes, and to the campus as needed. She will oversee all aspects of sports medicine, including athletic training, sports nutrition, and sports psychology.

This position is part of the university’s transition to a model of autonomous and patient-centered care for student-athletes. This is a model in which the athletic medical staff, including the lead team physician, athletic trainers, nutritionists and mental health practitioners, are employed outside of and operate independently of the athletics department, as part of the University Health Center in the Division of Student Affairs.

“The University of Maryland is fortunate to have Dr. Rooks back on our team,” said Dr. David McBride, Director of the UHC, to whom Dr. Rooks will report. “She is a respected family physician and national leader in the field of sports medicine. We are pleased to have her and the sports medicine staff join the University Health Center as we seek to provide care for our student-athletes in a holistic context.”  

Dr. Rooks comes to the university from RWJBarnabas Health, New Jersey’s most comprehensive academic health care system and the official health care provider for Rutgers University athletics, where she serves as Chief Medical Officer for athletics at Rutgers. In this role, she provides leadership and clinical care in both sports medicine and primary care for all Rutgers student-athletes. Previously, Dr. Rooks served for nearly two decades as a team physician at the University of Maryland. 

"I am excited to rejoin the University of Maryland team and work with student-athletes to advance their health and wellness,” said Dr. Rooks. “I have a long history at Maryland and I'm thrilled to continue that work in this new role." 

During her time at UMD, Dr. Rooks also served in many roles at the University of Maryland School of Medicine, including Assistant Professor, Residency Program Director and Executive Vice Chairman for the Department of Family and Community Medicine.

Dr. Rooks is a member of the American Academy of Family Physicians; American Medical Society for Sports Medicine; and College Athletic Trainers Association; and is an Executive Board Member of the College Athletic Trainers Society. She is certified under the American Board of Family Medicine.

She has earned a number of honors and awards in her career, including Baltimore Magazine’s Top Doctors Recognition; UMB Presidents’ Founders Day Award for Public Servant of the Year; John M. Dennis Award for Commitment to Rural Health Medical Education; and Faculty Teaching Award, awarded by Family Medicine Residents for contributions to resident education. In addition, she was a speaker at a White House Initiative on Men’s Health in 2016. 

Dr. Rooks earned a B.S. in biology and chemistry from State University of New York at Albany, and M.D. from the Health Science Center at Syracuse. She completed her residency at the University of Maryland School of Medicine, where she served as Chief Resident and was a fellow in the Primary Care Sports Medicine Fellowship, Division of Sports Medicine.

"We are thrilled to welcome Dr. Rooks home to the Maryland family,” said Athletic Director Damon Evans. “Throughout her distinguished career, she has exhibited an unwavering commitment to the health and well-being of student-athletes. We look forward to working with her on the establishment of a new model of student-athlete care here in College Park."

“As Maryland continues to develop an athlete-centered model of care that ensures autonomy and independent care by the clinician, the hiring of Dr. Rooks as lead team physician is a major step forward,” said Dr. Rod Walters, President, Walters Inc., a sports medicine consultancy, and chair of the university’s Athletic Medicine Review Board. “Maryland is a leader in creating change as colleges and universities continue to examine their delivery of care to student-athletes.”

The appointment of a full-time team physician based at UMD culminates a year-long effort to implement all the recommendations from the external reviews conducted following the tragic death of student-athlete Jordan McNair in 2018. 

The commitment from Maryland Athletics to the well-being of its student-athletes will continue beyond the 26 recommendations across the two reports that were specific to health and safety policies. With the announcement this spring that the sports medicine staff would be employed outside of the athletic department, Maryland joined only a handful of other universities with an autonomously employed sports medicine operation. Further, the work of the sports medicine staff is guided by annual, ongoing assessment from independent experts through its an athletic medicine review board. Dr. Rooks will coordinate the continuous review and implementation of best practices across athletic training, nutrition and mental health units for student-athlete well-being.

Reforms implemented by Maryland Athletics over the last year include:

    • Strengthened policies and practices for safety and well-being across all sports;
    • Enhanced the development of and regular training of the Emergency Action Plan;
    • Expanded the availability of enhanced trauma bags and automatic external defibrillators; 
    • Launched a real-time reporting and tracking system for student-athletes to raise concerns; 
    • Increased the attendance of senior administrators and representatives of the University’s Athletic Council at practices and workouts; 
    • Developed a Code of Ethical Conduct for all Maryland Athletic employees; and 
    • Adopted the best practices developed by the College Strength and Conditioning Coaches Association for all of our strength and conditioning staff and changed the reporting lines of our football strength and conditioning coaches. 
    • A complete list of reforms and commitments can be found at https://umd.edu/commitment

Dr. Rooks will assume her position at UMD early in the fall. 


  • Maryland Athletic Announces Members of its Inaugural Athletic Medicine Review Board (April 4, 2019) 

Maryland Athletics announced the formation of an Athletic Medicine Review Board (AMRB), which will allow independent review of student-athlete health and welfare policies and best practices. The board will be led by national sports medicine expert Rod Walters and comprised of experts from across the athletic, medical and legal professions.

"Our mission is to ensure that every single student-athlete at the University of Maryland receives the best possible care," said Athletic Director Damon Evans."I am grateful that this distinguished group will bring their expertise to reviewing our practices across the full spectrum of student-athlete care and well-being as part of our commitment to ensuring that best practices and policies are adhered to every day on our campus."

"I appreciate the University of Maryland's full embrace of the recommendations made last fall, and look forward to continuing to work with them in support of the well-being of their student-athletes," said Walters. "This board will bring some of the most insightful professionals from across the country to College Park to further work with current staff specific to best practices and current standards."

The board will consist of the following members: athletic trainers Ron Courson, University of Georgia, Cynthia "Sam" Booth, and Mark Laursen, Boston University; retired orthopaedic surgeon Dr. Robert Peele; strength coach Scott Bennett, Radford University; nutritionist Jennifer Brunelli, Carolina Panthers & Roush Fenway Racing; team physician Dr. Matt Leiszler, Notre Dame; operations management expert Sean Barnes, University of Maryland; and Trooper/Flight Paramedic Ed Strapp, Maryland State Police.

Their expertise spans the field including athletics, athletic training, physicians, injury prevention and sports performance, legal, and medical ethics. Members of the board will serve for a three-year term and meet annually.

The formation of the AMRB fulfills a recommendation outlined in the external safety review led by Walters that was completed last fallfollowing the death of student-athlete Jordan McNair.. With today's announcement, Maryland Athletics has completed 19 of the 20 recommendations from the Walters Report, with work underway on the final recommendation.

Walters is CEO of Walters Inc. and has worked in athletic training for nearly 40 years. He served as the University of South Carolina's Assistant Athletic Director for Sports Medicine before launching his own firm in 2007. A member of the National Athletic Trainers Association, Dr. Walters served on their Board of Directors from 1997 to 2003. He received the NATA's Most Distinguished Athletic Trainer in 2003 and was inducted into the NATA's Hall of Fame in 2005. He is also a member of the American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine.

Barnes is an Assistant Professor of Operations Management in the Robert H. Smith School of Business at the University of Maryland and his research interests include infectious disease modeling, healthcare analytics, agent-based modeling and simulation, machine learning, and data visualization.

Bennett has over 25 years of experience in the strength and conditioning field, currently serving as Radford University's head strength and conditioning coach, after spending time at Virginia Tech, James Madison, University of Southern Mississippi, the University of Wyoming and Marshall University. Bennett is accredited as a Master Strength and Conditioning Coach with the Collegiate Strength and Conditioning Association (CSCCa) since 2006 and has served time on the CSCCa Board of Directors. He was the first strength coach to be invited as an ex officio member of the NCAA Committee for Competitive Safeguards and Medical Aspects of Sports.

Booth was a certified athletic trainer for 36 years before retiring her credential in 2017, holding positions at the University of Kansas, West Virginia University and Minnesota State University – Moorhead. She worked as a healthcare administrator for twelve years and has thirty-five years of university teaching experience. She retired in January 2018 only to re-enter the workforce as an Interim Academic Advisor at The College at Brockport in New York, but will return to retirement status at the end of this academic year. She has been a member of the National Athletic Trainers' Association for over 40 years; inducted into the National Athletic Trainers' Association Hall of Fame in 2006; and awarded the "Most Distinguished Athletic Trainer" Award in 2002.

Brunelli is a 7-time All American swimmer and Hall of Fame athlete who is the owner of RDpro, LLC, a nutrition consulting business in North Carolina and is in her seventh year with the Carolina Panthers as the sports dietitian working directly with the players as well as serving as the sports dietitian for the NASCAR team, Roush Fenway Racing. Brunelli also serves as the sports nutritionist for LEAD, a female Olympian run business that stands to help young female athletes gain leadership skills and confidence in and out of their sport.

Courson has served as Director of Sports Medicine with the University of Georgia Athletic Association since 1995 and before that working at the University of Alabama, Samford University and with the U.S. Olympic Team. Courson has also spent time as the president of the SEC Sports Medicine Committee, chairman of the College and University Athletic Trainers' Committee of the National Athletic Trainers' Association and as a member of the NCAA Competitive Safeguards and Medical Aspects of Sports committee. He was inducted into the National Athletic Trainers' Association Hall of Fame in 2013.

Laursen is currently the Director of Athletic Training Services at Boston University, having spent the past 11 years in this role, while also teaching as a Clinical Associate Professor of Athletic Training in BU's Sargent College of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences. Laursen has contributed to several publications, made more than 100 presentations, and currently is a reviewer for the Journal of Athletic Training, and Athletic Training Education Journal. In 2007, he was named NCAA Division IAA National Head Athletic Trainer of the Year.

Leiszler is the head football team physician at the University of Notre Dame. Leiszler graduated from Harvard University in 2003 with a degree in biology. He was a varsity letter-winning running back on the football team while at Harvard. He finished medical school at the University of Kansas School of Medicine in 2008.He completed both a residency in Family Medicine and a fellowship in Sports Medicine at the University of Colorado, and was faculty at the University of Colorado Hospital prior to Notre Dame.

Peele served as the​ Team Orthopedist and Chief Physician for the University of South Carolina Athletic Department from 1983 to 2001. He attended medical school at Wake Forest University's Bowman Gray School of Medicine; completed his residency in orthopedics at the Medical University of South Carolina; and and completed his sports medicine fellowship under the legendary Dr. Jack Hughston.

Strapp is currently a Certified Athletic Trainer and a Maryland Flight Paramedic and has served in various roles as an athletic trainer and paramedic for more than 20 years. He is also a certified athletic trainer and flight paramedic who regularly presents on the emergency care aspect of athletic training at local, regional and national conferences.

  • Michael Locksley Introduced as Maryland Football Head Coach (December 6, 2018) 

     University of Maryland Athletic Director Damon Evans introduced Michael Locksley as the Terrapins new head football coach on Thursday inside Cole Field House. A full transcription of the opening remarks and the question and answer session is below.

Athletic Director Damon Evans' Opening Statement

"Thank you everyone. First and foremost, I want to give a round of applause to the Mighty Sound of Maryland. Thank you so much. What an extremely exciting day for Terp nation. I want to thank all of you for coming out today as we welcome home Coach Michael Locksley. This is an extremely exciting day for Maryland and especially our football community. I also want to say welcome to Kia, Mike's lovely wife, his daughter Kori and also his in-laws, thank you all for being here today. I would also like to acknowledge some special guests who in attendance with us today. First and foremost, I would like to acknowledge President Wallace Loh, Maryland Senate President Mike Miller, Chair of the Board of Regents: Doctor Linda Gooden and finally chancellor of the University Systems of Maryland Doctor Bob Caret, welcome.

As I look across this wonderful facility, this historic Cole Field House, it is a true testament to Mike [Locksley] by your attendance here that he is exactly what we needed for our community. Mike [Locksley] is engrained in the very fabric of who we are as a state, and who we are as Terps. He embodies the spirit of One Maryland. As we all know, this has been a difficult season for our team. They deserved someone who could bring us together. Someone who understands what they have gone through. Someone who can help them continue to heal, after the tragic passing of their teammate, Jordan McNair. In hearing from so many of his former players and when I say many Mike [Locksley] it must've been thousands. It was clear that Coach Locksley doesn't just consider himself a coach while the student-athletes are here, he's their coach for life. And I know that he will continue as we all do to put their health and safety and welfare at the forefront of what he does. I also know this: Coach Locksley will continue to build upon the outstanding job that Matt Canada did supporting our student athletes. I want to take a moment to thank Coach Canada, his staff and all of our support staff for the hard work and terrific job they did this season.

During the process, what stood out to me about Coach Locksley was two things. One, his heart and two his humility. These are the values that he will apply as he helps to develop our student-athletes to leaders in our community. We are excited as to how he will shape our program. Now we all talk about Mike as this great recruiter and he's known to be one of the best in the country. But let's not forget he is just as talented as a coach. But as much as it pains me to say it, to mention this team's name. I have to give credit where credit is due. Alabama has been a long-storied football program with a rich history. But under Mike's leadership their offense reached heights that they had never imagined. In fact, they set four new records on the offense this past year. Those records include; most points scored, most total yards, most passing yards and most passing touchdowns. All of which Mike [Locksley] is bringing to us at Maryland. I have to say as much as I hate to say this, I watched last week as Mike [Locksley] and his prolific offense beat up on my alma mater for the second time in his many years, and that hit home – those true coaching skills.

When Coach Locksley was awarded the Frank Broyles Award for the nation's top assistant coach, he eloquently talked about why he got into coaching. He talked about growing up in [Washington] D.C., the role his coaches played in filing a void in his life and how they molded him into the person he has become today. This is the heart of why we do – what we do in collegiate athletics. And the heart of why Coach Locksley is our new head coach. We have the opportunity to mold future leaders in our community and to change lives one student at a time. Coach Locksley; Kia, Kori, and all of the Locksley family, we are all excited to have you. We are thrilled that you will be leading our program into the future and to even greater heights." 

Head Coach Michael Locksley's Opening Statement

"It sure feels good to be home, man. It feels great to be back in the DMV with my family, all my friends, all the people that showed up here for me today. I can't tell you guys enough how this is a dream come true for me to be the leader of the Maryland Terrapins football family. Before I get started, I've got a lot of 'Thank Yous.' One of the things I learned from the great (Alabama head) coach Nick Saban is that every thank you comes with an I.O.U. And I owe a lot of people, starting with my wife, Kia, who's been my coach. We've had a tough year, year-and-a-half losing Meiko and she has been a rock star and been there to support me through that journey. I can't thank her enough for all of her support. My daughter Kori - big time soccer player from Auburn who took time out of her schedule to come up her. I love you to death and I appreciate you being here, and all the rest of my family - my inlaws, grandma, grand-dad. It's great having you here, Jeff, Luke.

I also want to thank Dr. Loh for having faith in me to lead this program. I want to thank the Chancellor of the University of Maryland System, the Chair of the Board of Regents, obviously Senator Mike Miller, Athletic Director Damon Evans for your faith and belief in me, the members of the search committee. I've got to thank Coach Saban. I just spend three years of my 28 years in this business coaching under a guy that I feel is the greatest coach in the history of college football, if not football alone. I just spent three years saturated in winning and seeing what it's like to be done right. I can only hope that I can take just a little bit of what I've learned from Coach Saban the past three years to implement and install here at the University of Maryland.

Also want to thank everyone - we've got a bunch of high school coaches that I've known, former players, students that I've met, Jose - the best cleaning man in the business, been taking care of that Gossett Team House for a long time, all the supporters of the football program, the current coaching staff here, Matt Canada for the great job he did keeping this thing together, and all of the campus leaders and community leaders across the campus for the job that you guys have done supporting these players. 

There's one person in particular that I have a tremendous relationship with - and it means the world to me that he would be here to celebrate this joyous day - my good friend Marty McNair. I appreciate you being here with me. I got a text from Tonya [Wilson], I know she wanted to be here and I appreciate you guys taking part in this joyous day for me and my family. Marty and my relationship goes back a long way. Our kids went to school together, we both just have tragically lost our kids, and I have been a mentor for Marty and Marty has been a sounding board for me. The last year and a half, as we've worked through dealing with the emotions and toughness of losing a child, man Marty, you and Tonya are rock stars and I really appreciate you taking the time out, you being here to help me celebrate me coming home. It means the world to me.

This is a dream job for me. My best friend in the world, Lawrence Brown, is over there. Lawrence and I used to spend a lot of time in the Cole Field House parking lot, and I can't tell you the stories of why we were in those parking lots, but we attended as many of those basketball games as we could, going over into Maryland Stadium and having an opportunity. Grew up rooting for the Terps and if you know anything about the Terps, in the mid-'80s, they were a tough, tough team. I grew up loving the Terps and this dream job for me - I've always wanted to be a Terp and I wasn't a good enough football player coming out of Ballou High School, so I settled with being a Towson Tiger. And it's a Towson State Tiger, I know Dr. [Robert] Caret is here, he actually signed my diploma which is hanging on my wall. He was the provost at Towson during that time.

But I'm very thankful for this opportunity and it's not something that I won't take to heart to be a tremendous leader of this program. I told the team this morning when I met with them that I'm not here to just build a winning football team. I'm here to build a winning football family. The thing about family - as well all know - that family name is something that people wear with pride. I know growing up in the southwest section of D.C. that when someone said the name Locksley - that's Bryant and Eric Locksley's little brother - that Locksley name carried a lot of pride and respect. As I told the team, our family name is Terrapins - Terps for short. And when people say it, I want them to say it with some respect. I want our players to be very prideful about that family name and I want us to display and be the program we need to be to make the Terp name proud and successful.

Being back home, being from the D.C. area, I told the team that every Sunday, there are five teams that I check the scores for, no matter where I am in the country. I always check the Washington Post to see how my Ballou Knights did, I always check the Baltimore Sun to see how my Towson Tigers did, and I always check up on my Washington Redskins, my favorite team growing up, the Maryland Terrapins, and then whoever I coach for. It's important for me to have a great weekend. It's tough when you have a 1-4 weekend with all your teams that you love and you grew fond of growing up.

It's amazing, I've had 10 years of coaching here at the University of Maryland. I've worked under Ron Vanderlinden, I've worked under Ralph Friedgen, worked under Randy Edsall, spent a short time with DJ Durkin. It's amazing how much I've learned and how much I've grown. I feel like this is the place where I cut my teeth as a coach. I would be remiss if I didn't thank all the great coaches, and I can't name them all because I'd forget somebody and they'd be mad at me, but for all the coaches that I worked under as an assistant, I thank you for the opportunities that you guys gave me, to introduce me to such a great profession.

I talk about why I got into coaching. I grew up in a home with a single mom that worked a lot, and those coaches at the Boys & Girls Club - the No. 4 Boys & Girls Club down in Southwest - that Boys & Girls Club raised me, which is why the Boys & Girls Club has always been very true and dear to my heart. It's amazing how those assistant coaches that give you a ride home, buy you cleats, pick you up from school, they become basically father figures for you. And when I knew I wasn't good enough to take football any further - when I left Towson - I knew that I wanted to be a coach because of all the people that played a role in shaping me into becoming the man that I've become. So I want to thank all those coaches for what you guys have done to put me in this position to be the new Maryland football family.

I'm excited to lead this group of young men. It's amazing, and I told the team how proud I was. I can remember, as we were preparing to play Louisville in the first game of the year, the Terps were playing Texas, and I'm in the hotel with my Alabama coaching gear on and I am watching the Terps just take it to Texas. What passion, energy, toughness that this team played with. Man, it's a testament to Matt [Canada] and all the coaches on this coaching staff, how you guys were able to get these kids to play. So I'm not coming into a bare cover, I'm coming into a team that has fight in them, has toughness and the characteristics that I feel like we can build on.

And I can tell you this - my No. 1 priority and focus will be in the health, development, and safety as the head of this family. Just like any family, as the leader of it, every decision I make with these kids will be made as if they were my own child. And that's not anything I take lightly. Proud of the way they came together and fought adversity after losing their brother in Jordan. I know what it's like to lose someone you love, having lost my son Meiko. And just like Marty, Tonya and this Maryland football family, it's not something that just goes away. It's a day-to-day fight and I'm looking forward to fighting this battle with our team, Marty and Tonya, with my family and with this football family to continue to honor our loved ones by putting out a great product on the field - that these fans and our supporters can be really, really proud of.

I want to create the right culture and environment, and winning will follow. We have one of the best areas in the country for talent, and we're going to work our tails off to keep it right here. Football has opened so many doors for me, providing me with role models and mentors, friendships and people who have looked out for me. Being a coach is my opportunity to pay it forward. Thank you guys. Thank everyone who's come out today. I look forward to seeing everybody at Maryland Stadium next season, supporting this team and this family. Thank you guys and go Terps."

Question & Answer Session

On balancing the next few weeks, recruiting for Maryland and preparing Alabama for the playoffs:

Locksley: "First of all luckily for me I work for a guy that doesn't have a lot of surprises, there's not a lot of things that haven't been planned out in Coach [Nick] Saban and this isn't his first rodeo in dealing with a coach, having to prepare for a playoff game while working for another institution. We have a schedule in place and my plan is to be here in Maryland probably into next week. I am trying to start the process, with talking to the team first. I plan to meet with the team individually, I met with them collectively. Meet with the assistant coaches that are here on staff and then start recruiting as well. And then when I head back to Tuscaloosa next Thursday, we start practice on Friday for our Oklahoma preparation. The way it's worked is I will work on Oklahoma during the day and when we practice. Then at night I will go into my office and put my Terp hat on and start recruiting for the Terps to get the Terps ready for our season."

On what he learned from head coaching position in New Mexico:

Locksley: "I am so far removed from that New Mexico experience, 10 years removed. Almost 10 years and 2 days from when I was introduced there. Who I have become as a coach, who I have become as a player, as everyone else you mature and grow. I just spent three years saturated in winning under Coach Nick Saban and the Alabama football program. It's my goal to take the experiences that I've had as a coach, not just at New Mexico but at every stop along the way. Take what I've learned from being under Coach [Nick] Saban and his process and find a way to create that environment here with our football family."

Evans: "Obviously Mike [Locksley] and I did have an extended conversation [about] life and we talked about his past. He has grown as an individual, I saw that. He indicated what he had learned and you can just see in him where he was then which was 8-10 years ago to where he is now. He's had a lot of life lessons as we've all have. [He is] well-vetted and I couldn't be prouder then to have him sitting right next to me on this stage."

On why he wanted to tackle this project:

Locksley: "I said in my opening comments, this has been a dream job for me from the day I got into coaching. I grew up in this environment, in this community. As you know this DMV community is very prideful. We root hard for our home teams. I grew up worshipping and loving the Terps. When I got into coaching this was the one job that I always coveted, and I spent 10 years of my coaching career here. I've seen the good, the bad, the ugly of Maryland. I've had the opportunity to win a conference championship here, I was a part of winning 30 games in 3 years during the early 2000's under Coach Friedgen. So, I have a vision and picture in my mind of what it felt like and what it looked like when we accomplished those goals as a team and I know it can be done again. I know it will take some hard work, it will take some great effort – it will take this community getting behind the program and the players in this area staying home. And developing that sense of pride back in wearing a Terp jersey. I love building, I am a builder by nature and this is a great opportunity and the timing was just perfect for me now." 

On his experience with Nick Saban:

Locksley: "We would need about a three-hour course because I have been there for three years and every day I am a big copious note taker and I couldn't even start to say. But I think the number one thing it starts with consistency. If you look at the Alabama football program it has consistency written all over it. I know every day at 7:20 am- 7:26 am Nick Saban is going to pull up, he's going to walk up the stairs, he'll be at his desk by 7:30 a.m. He will be in his conference room, we're going to have a 10:30 a.m. staff meeting every day. His regimen and his consistency of how he went about the program. I think the biggest thing that I've learned from being under Coach Saban is focus on the process not the result. Don't worry about game day, don't look up at the scoreboard. Let's win every day and maximize every opportunity within your program. If its's a staff meeting, be where your feet are, be in that staff meeting. Let's make sure we maximize that time. The man is amazing in terms of his preparation, there is nobody that works harder than Nick Saban. The expectation he has on us as a staff, starts with him and he sets a great example, I've learned that. I've learned that discipline, toughness, effort are really important characteristics in building a winning team. I also realized how important the family environment is and that's to me what we want to do and how we want to build this program." 

On if there was any trepidation about taking this position and his relationship with Jordan McNair's family:

Locksley: "I can only really speak to moving forward and what my plans are to develop and build this football family. This was a job I've coveted since the day I put a whistle around my neck as a coach. Some people grow up wanting to be the head coach of the University of Alabama, Michigan – all the storied programs. For Locks, this was it. When the opportunity presented itself for me to have the ability to come here and be the leader of this family, there was nothing stopping me from wanting to take this job, other than confirming all the pieces were in place for this program, this family to be successful. After meeting with Dr. Loh, meeting with Damon, and meeting with the search committee, I really felt comfortable that everyone was pulling in the right direction, pulling together to see this thing through the tough times. My relationship with Marty and Tonya, again, it started even before Jordan's passing. My daughter attended McDonough High School with Jordan and they graduated in the same class, they both signed their national letters on the same day. Kori went to Auburn obviously, Jordan to Maryland. I started the recruiting process before I left on Jordan. For Marty and myself, Tonya and Kia, we have a common bond in that if you lose a child, the circle of life isn't built for parents to bury kids. I have been a sounding board for Marty, he's been an ear for me. Our relationship has continued to grow. For him to be here today just means the world to me and my family."

On how it feels to have the amount of support he's already received:

Locksley: "It's what I have come to expect, it's what I know. As I said before, being a fabric of this community growing up and being a part of this community, this is what you come to expect. This DMV, this Terrapin sports family, this One Maryland is all about supporting each other. I'm at a loss for words with the support. The high school coaches that are in here, the former players, the support staff that I've grown to know over the years, to see everybody come together as one to fight to make this program become the special program that I dreamed of it to become, and to have all the support and help is amazing and it's something that I want to use to help bring this thing together to make it a special place."

On if he was surprised to hear of allegations of a toxic culture within the football team:

Locksley: "I can really only comment on where I see this program going forward. It's my goal to build this thing into a football family. With family, the words that come to mind to me are trust, respect, and discipline. With any family, there's always going to be issues that come up. The No. 1 thing for me, just like being a father in the family, is ensuring that every decision I make moving forward as the leader of this family will put the health, welfare and safety of the students first, like I would my own children. That's very easy to do, because as a parent, when you've got to make tough decisions, the ones I make here… I'm going to make it as if each kid and each decision I make is dealing with my own children. I'm excited about the future here. I'm excited about moving the program forward together with Terrapin nation and all the supporters that have come here today."

On lessons that he learned as interim head coach at Maryland and competing in the Big Ten:

Locksley: "I think if I remember the first time I took over as the interim, the first thing I remember writing down was, 'Have fun with it.' And that's going to be important to me. These kids that come into this football family, it's going to be important that they love being here and being a part of the program that we put together. Probably didn't have the success I would've liked to have when I took over as the interim, but I do feel like we gave those seniors, those guys that were playing their last few games as Terps the opportunity to go out and enjoy football and have fun with being a Terp. As far as playing in the Big Ten East, it is one of the best conferences, best leagues in all of college football. Tremendous challenge. But I also know that our first year here, we beat some teams in that league. I remember beating Michigan at Michigan, having Iowa here and beating them at home, having an opportunity to go up to Penn State and win a big game there. I know this – we're excited about the challenge and the opportunity that playing on this side of the league has to offer us. If we keep the gates around the DMV and we get the top players in this area to buy in to staying here at home and building this thing from the ground up together, there's nowhere in the country we can't go compete with the best. Excited about this great opportunity for us."

On hiring coaches and the timetable he plans on that happening:

Locksley: "That's one thing that, having gone through this before, that's not something that I'm going to take lightly. I've got to do a good job and do my due diligence bringing the best possible coaches, support staff and people to surround this team with. For me, there's five things I look for in a coach - they've got to be great communicators, got to be good scheme guys, great recruiters, great evaluators of talent, and first and foremost they've got to be great mentors. I'm going to take my time, I'm going to meet with each and every individual coach on the staff, try to meet with those guys here in the next few days. I do have some thoughts in mind for some guys that I'd love to have come join me here, but I'm going to take my time with it to make sure I get it right so that I can give our players the best possible coaching staff, support staff, and first-class experience that they can have here being Terps."

  • Letter from University of Maryland President Wallace D. Loh on our football program (October 31, 2018)
Dear University of Maryland community,
I am writing to inform you of actions I am taking that are in the best interest of the University of Maryland.
Yesterday, the University System of Maryland Board of Regents announced numerous recommendations, including employment decisions about specific personnel on our campus. I accepted the Board’s recommendations. At the same time, I announced my retirement as president in June 2019.
Since returning to campus after yesterday’s press conference, I have met with the leadership of the Student Government Association speaking on behalf of numerous student organizations; the Senate Executive Committee; Deans; department chairs; and campus leadership. The overwhelming majority of stakeholders expressed serious concerns about Coach DJ Durkin returning to the campus.
The chair of the Board of Regents has publicly acknowledged that I had previously raised serious concerns about Coach Durkin’s return. This is not at all a reflection of my opinion of Coach Durkin as a person. However, a departure is in the best interest of the University, and this afternoon Coach Durkin was informed that the University will part ways.
This is a difficult decision, but it is the right one for our entire University. I will devote the remaining months of my presidency to advancing the needed reforms in our Athletic Department that prioritize the safety and well-being of our student-athletes.
Wallace D. Loh
President, University of Maryland
  • Letter from University of Maryland President Wallace D. Loh on the commission report and path forward (October 30, 2018)

Dear University of Maryland community,

Serving as the 33rd President of the University of Maryland has been the greatest experience of my professional life. Since I arrived on campus in Fall 2010, I have had the honor and the pleasure of working alongside and leading 50,000 of the most impressive faculty, staff and students in academia to advance our beloved University. Together, we have boldly transformed our University, in ways both significant and subtle. Today, our University deservedly stands among the most distinguished institutions of learning in the world.

Change is a necessary agent of progress. It is in that spirit that today that I announce my retirement as president of the University of Maryland. My final day will be June 30, 2019, a time frame sufficient to help ensure a smooth transition to a new president.

The past several months have been exceedingly difficult for the University, Maryland football, and all who support the Terps following the tragic death of Jordan McNair. As many of you are aware, the independent commission on the culture of Maryland’s football program recently completed their work and provided a report to the University System of Maryland Board of Regents. The report states that the University leadership bears some responsibility for the ongoing dysfunction of the Athletics Department. I accept that responsibility. Last August, I accepted legal and moral responsibility for the mistakes that our training staff made in Jordan’s care. I stand by that decision 100%.

The commission's report found that “the Maryland football team did not have a ‘toxic culture.’” But the commission did find troubling behaviors within the program. We must work to create a healthier culture that advances the well-being of our student-athletes. Today, Athletic Director Damon Evans and I agreed to implement all recommendations made by the commission and the Board of Regents. Together, Damon and I will spearhead these reforms to ensure the safety and well-being of all student-athletes.

The Board of Regents recommended that Head Coach DJ Durkin will return from administrative leave to resume his regular coaching duties.

In May, I will join the Class of 2019 at Commencement to bid farewell to our University. Together, we will look back on our years in College Park with enduring affection. I will be proud of the growth of our academic enterprise with the addition of talented new faculty members across all disciplines. I will look to our surrounding communities with amazement at how we have together started to transform the Greater College Park region into a hub of innovation and economic development. I will join thousands of supporters and friends who have raised an unprecedented $1.4 billion over the past 8 years to fund groundbreaking research, student scholarships, and world-class learning facilities.

And I will look back with pride upon the most diverse, most-academically talented classes in the University's history, thousands of students who are already making an incredible mark on our world. This is our shared legacy.

But there is much to do before I go. Today, I will simply get back to work.

With esteem and appreciation,

Wallace D. Loh

President, University of Maryland


  • Letter from Maryland Athletic Director Damon Evans on the Board of Regents' recommendations for the football program (October 30, 2018) 

Dear Terrapin Community: 

Today, the Board of Regents announced its recommendations based on the independent reviews of our football program. During that press conference, President Wallace Loh accepted the Board’s recommendations. 

President Loh also announced that after eight years as president of this institution, he will be retiring this summer. We appreciate all he has done for the Athletic Department and our student-athletes and I am personally grateful for his leadership. As President, he has transformed the University of Maryland. He will provide invaluable leadership as we work to restore public confidence in our program. 

The Board of Regents recommended that DJ Durkin return to his coaching responsibilities. This has been a season like no other for our football players, and I have been tremendously impressed at how our student-athletes have come together as they grieve the loss of their teammate Jordan McNair. I want to thank Matt Canada, who has done an outstanding job leading the team. Matt really helped pull the team together throughout this period and we are grateful to him. 

The tragic loss of Jordan touched the lives of every member of our athletic community. We have committed to doing everything in our power to make sure something like this never happens again, and that all of our student-athletes have a supportive environment.  As we move forward, we will take the appropriate measures to ensure the health and well-being of our student athletes. 

Changes to our football program 

While the Commission's work did not find a toxic culture, it is clear in reading the report that there were some inappropriate and unacceptable behaviors. Coach Durkin and I both agree that mistakes were made. I take responsibility for those mistakes and as Athletic Director, commit to you that we will do more. We have begun to implement every recommendation from the external review, led by sports medicine expert Rod Walters. We will also implement each of the recommendations made by the Commission. 

Increased channels for feedback and oversight 

These recommendations will build on steps we’ve already taken across our department to provide more platforms for student-athletes to speak out with concerns. We’ve already launched Terps Feedback, an online platform for students to flag concerns in real time. We are implementing a process by which any complaints, anonymous or not are evaluated by a team of professionals from our compliance officers, the sports supervisor, and student support services. That team will provide an assessment of the concern to the athletic director and the faculty athletic representative so we can be sure each concern receives the needed attention. 

Our commitment 

Our mission as an Athletic Department is to enrich the lives of our student-athletes academically, professionally, socially, and athletically. An Athletic Department has a unique opportunity to use its public platform to enhance the academic mission of the university. The 500 student-athletes I am proud to represent come from every college of this great university, spanning the arts and humanities, engineering and the sciences. Many of our student-athletes speak about the fantastic experiences and supportive environment Maryland has offered them. Our mission is to ensure that every single one of our student-athletes -- today and in the future -- has that opportunity.


Damon Evans


  • University statement on football culture report (October 25, 2018) 

"The University is committed to a fair and accountable process. We will continue that commitment as we work to ensure the safety and well-being of our student-athletes. The University received the report yesterday and we are carefully reviewing it."


  • Statement from university spokesperson on December 2016 email (October 3, 2018) 

"The anonymous December 2016 email has been given to the independent commission reviewing our football culture, and we defer to the commission to assess the content and handling of the email.  

The President instructed a member of his staff to forward this email to the then-athletic director for his information. Members of the university’s cabinet are expected to handle emails sent on an informational basis as appropriate. Standard practice is not to respond to anonymous senders. 

       When this email was initially raised two years later, the President did not recall it".  


  • Statement on further details on the allegations around football culture (September 30, 2018)

Statement from President Wallace D. Loh

“When allegations emerged in August about our football program, we committed to an independent investigatory commission that is now overseen by the University System of Maryland Board of Regents. I have committed as President that we will take the appropriate actions based on the conclusions of the investigation. These allegations are upsetting and underline the importance of the independent review to ensure that all allegations are fully examined. I encourage anyone with information to contact the commission.”

Statement from Athletic Director Damon Evans

“These allegations, if true, are unacceptable. We will not tolerate any behavior that is detrimental to the mental or physical well-being of our student-athletes. When the commission completes its charge, we will act decisively and take all actions necessary to ensure the safety of our student-athletes. We have already accepted the resignation of our strength and conditioning coach when the allegations first came to light, and our head football coach and several athletic trainers remain on leave. We have changed the reporting lines so our strength and conditioning football coach reports to the associate athletic director for sports performance. We have also launched a new online platform where our student-athletes can provide real-time feedback on any concerns that they may have, and we have changed how we practice and how we train across all of our sports.”

Statement from a university spokesperson: 

“We are bringing this email to the commission so they consider it as part of the review of the culture of our football program.”  


  • External Review Update (September 25, 2018)

In the external review into the safety of our student-athletes, Rod Walters states “Information reported to UMD attorney, athletic director, and senior administration two days post event was not representative of activity and care on the field May 29, 2018. Review of videos confirm UMD administration’s concerns.”

Regarding this point in the report, Athletic Director Damon Evans said: 

"With Friday’s release of the Walters review, we now have an independent assessment of what happened at the May 29th workout. My intention with commissioning the external review immediately was to have an examination of all first-hand accounts and available documentation to establish the accurate timeline for the day and to determine whether the appropriate policies were followed.  With the report released by the Board of Regents, we now have confirmation that there were inaccuracies in the initial information shared with the university that informed my comments in the June 14th press conference. 

A point of concern for me is the question over whether Jordan completed the workout, as it was initially told to the university in the hours and days following Jordan’s hospitalization. What became clear through the Walters review is that Jordan did not complete the workout on his own.

Following the initial press conference, conflicting information about the timeline emerged and it became clear that the independent review would need to discern the most complete timeline possible - one that could be verified by multiple eyewitnesses and all sources of information available to us. 

I regret that those details, which were based off the information shared with the university at the time, contained inaccurate information. We learned through the preliminary findings that the appropriate protocols were not followed, and the university apologized for the mistakes made. We have committed to implementing the Walters review recommendations and taking further actions to enhance the safety of our student-athletes.” 


  • Our Commitment to Student-Athletes: Letter from University of Maryland President Wallace D. Loh  (September 21, 2018)

Dear University of Maryland community,

I would like to share with you this update following today’s Board of Regents meeting on the tragic death of our student-athlete Jordan McNair. In August, Athletic Director Damon Evans and I met with Jordan’s parents to apologize personally for the mistakes made in Jordan’s care by our athletic trainers.

In June, we retained a national expert in sports medicine and athletic training, Rod Walters, to conduct a comprehensive review of the policies and protocols related to the health and safety of our student-athletes. We requested recommendations on what changes should be made to ensure a tragedy like this never happens again. We are committed to this.

The entire Board of Regents received the final report from Rod Walters today. Since he was retained, he has been also advising the Athletic Department on needed improvements, and they have already begun implementing some of his recommendations even before receiving the final report.

Actions to improve the safety of the training and conditioning sessions include: adopting new technology to improve how we monitor the ambient temperature and modify practices accordingly; implementing mandatory hydration testing and emphasizing longer and more frequent recovery breaks. The Athletic Department also increased the number of doctors and trainers present at football practices and games. In July, Rod Walters began expanded training for the staff on the implementation of the emergency action plan. An online portal was established so that our student-athletes could share any concerns. The Walters report highlighted the fact that we have a physician-directed model for athletics trainers, who are licensed by the state and are under the supervision of a licensed physician.

There are additional recommendations in the final report, such as establishing an athletic medicine review board that will review procedures and protocols regarding student-athlete safety. The Athletic Department has committed to implementing all of the recommendations.

Our actions, and our commitments, are available at www.umd.edu/commitment.

The Board of Regents also assumed control in August of a separate commission investigating allegations surrounding the culture of our football program. The Chair of the Board of Regents announced today that results of this commission will be forthcoming.

The safety and well-being of our students remains paramount. I will continue to update our community on all of these efforts.


Wallace D. Loh 

President, University of Maryland


  • Letter from Maryland Athletic Director Damon Evans (September 21, 2018)

Dear Terrapin Community, 

The passing of our student-athlete Jordan McNair in June shook us all to our core. Our student-athletes have demonstrated tremendous resiliency and strength by how they have come together over these past few months to honor Jordan and support each other through the healing process. 

President Loh and I have personally apologized to Jordan’s family for the mistakes made in his care. We continue to keep Jordan’s family, friends and teammates in our thoughts.  

Today, the University System of Maryland Board of Regents received the final report from the external review by Rod Walters. We commissioned the report immediately following Jordan’s death to examine the policies and procedures affecting the health and safety of our student-athletes. The final report includes many recommendations, and we are committed to implementing all of them. Based on the preliminary observations, we already have made changes to how we train and practice across all sports, including:

      • Changed how we practice, train and compete to prevent heat illness
      • Enhanced student-athlete assessments to more closely monitor their health
      • Increased the frequency of athletic department staff trainings across all sports-related health matters
      • Provided additional support measures and new ways to collect input from student-athletes 

You can review additional details outlining our actions and commitments to our student-athletes at www.umd.edu/commitment

President Loh and I are wholeheartedly committed to the safety and well-being of our students. We will do everything in our power to prevent a tragedy like this from ever happening again.

I will continue to provide updates on our progress. 


Damon Evans

Director of Athletics


  • Our Commitment Website (September 21, 2018)

Learn about the University's actions and commitments following the tragic death of Jordan McNair: umd.edu/commitment


  • New Student-Athlete Reporting Tool (August 24, 2018)

The athletics department has launched a new online platform that provides student-athletes the opportunity to submit secure comments or concerns. Terps ICA Feedback allows students to detail their issue and choose if they want to be contacted by a sports supervisor, senior administrator or Faculty Athletics representative to discuss their feedback.

University of Maryland Athletic Director Damon Evans wrote in a letter to student-athletes: “As your new athletic director, I want to make sure you have the ability to communicate any issues or concerns you might have. Ensuring an atmosphere that is conducive to open and honest dialogue is of utmost importance. I encourage you to speak out if you have a challenge, concern or issue.”


  • Maryland Football Student-Athletes Announcement Video  (August 20, 2018)


  • Update on the External Review and Commission (August 17, 2018)

USM Board of Regents to Assume Authority and Control Over UMCP Investigations

The University System of Maryland (USM) Board of Regents today unanimously voted to assume authority and control over all aspects of the investigation into the tragic death of University of Maryland, College Park (UMCP) student-athlete Jordan McNair.  Separately, the board will assume control over the commission formed to investigate the culture of the UMCP football program. Today’s actions will allow the USM to provide guidance from the findings of the investigations to all system institutions.

These steps are being taken pursuant to its authority and duty under Section 12-104 of the Education Article of the Maryland Code.

The USM will announce additional details about the board’s plans next week.  Each of the two separate reviews will now be managed by the Board of Regents and report findings to the Board of Regents, as well as to UMCP.

The votes were taken during a 4-hour special meeting of the board. The board also asked the Office of the Attorney General to represent UMCP and USM on any and all legal claims related to Mr. McNair’s death.

“Everyone throughout the University System of Maryland was deeply saddened by the death of Jordan McNair,” said USM Board of Regents Chair James Brady.  “Our thoughts continue to be with his family and friends, and with everyone at UMCP, at this very difficult time.”

“Earlier today, the Board of Regents was fully briefed by UMCP President Wallace Loh about the circumstances of Mr. McNair’s tragic death, about the actions that have been taken since, and finally about the alarming allegations that have emerged in the last week related to the football program,” Brady continued.  “After a long and robust discussion, the board voted unanimously to assume responsibility for the investigations into these two separate issues.  Our goal is to ensure that all system universities, including UMCP, are actively working to protect the health and safety of every student and to foster a supportive culture in which everyone can flourish.”

UMCP President Loh issued the following comment: “We welcome the oversight of the Board of Regents at this critical time. We must thoroughly investigate the death of student-athlete Jordan McNair and understand the allegations of the culture of our football program so that we can ensure the health and well-being of every one of our student-athletes. We will continue to honor Jordan’s life, and we will work with our Board of Regents to ensure that a tragedy like this never happens again.”  


  • Information on Athletic Training Staffing Structures (August 17, 2018)

University of Maryland Statement on Athletic Training Staffing Structures (August 16, 2018):

The University of Maryland has a physician-directed healthcare model, which is widely adopted.

Our licensed athletic training staff are currently supervised by our University of Maryland School of Medicine supervising physician. To avoid conflicts of interest, all physicians who supervise the athletic trainers are employed outside the Athletic Department. Consistent with best practices, our coaches do not have direct responsibility for the hiring or supervision of any member of the sports medicine staff.

The proposal to outsource athletic trainers to another institution was made when our athletic trainers were already supervised by University of Maryland School of Medicine physicians. At the same time,because the trainers were university employees, we retained the ability to make necessary personnel decisions, as we did recently in placing members of our athletic training staff on administrative leave. 

The University of Maryland’s commitment to safety is paramount and resolute. We have commissioned an independent expert to assess all of our policies and procedures affecting the health and safety of our student-athletes, and we have already changed our practices based on his preliminary observations and recommendations. 


Statement from University of Maryland School of Medicine's Orthopedics Department Chair Dr. Andrew Pollak (August 17, 2018)

Dr. Andrew Pollak, Chair of the Department of Orthopedics at the University of Maryland School of Medicine said today: 

"You cannot draw a line between organizational structure and the death of student-athlete Jordan McNair. 

We share in the commitment to make sure a tragedy like this one never happens again, and we extend our condolences to Jordan's family. We can and will work with the university to implement changes that improve the environment and conditions where student-athletes compete and athletic trainers provide care." 


  • Tweet from Maryland Athletic Director Damon Evans  (August 14, 2018)


Tweed from Maryland AD Damon Evans







  • Press Conference Videos  (August 14, 2018)

Wallace D. Loh


Damon Evans


Media Q & A


Email mediainfo@umd.edu to request video files


  • Letter from Maryland Athletic Director Damon Evans (August 14, 2018)

Dear Terrapin Community,

When I was named Athletic Director in July, my highest priority was to investigate the events surrounding the death of our football student-athlete, Jordan McNair. Although that review is ongoing, preliminary findings from the independent review being conducted by national experts in sports medicine indicate that mistakes were made. The care provided to Jordan was not consistent with best practices, our trainers did not implement appropriately the emergency action plan, and they misdiagnosed the severity of Jordan's initial symptoms.

Based on these preliminary findings, we have taken immediate actions including:

    • Implemented additional safeguards for all of our athletic practices and training, not just football.
    • Added cooling stations and increased student-athlete breaks during practice taking place in the heat.
    • Placed members of our athletic training staff on administrative leave.

Additional actions will be guided by the recommendations of our independent experts. The University has also commissioned a second team of legal and sports experts who will look into recent allegations of unacceptable behavior within our football program. The alleged behaviors are not consistent with the values of our athletic program. I have placed our head football coach DJ Durkin on administrative leave, and as of today, we accepted the resignation of our head football strength and conditioning coach.

Make no mistake, we will not tolerate any behavior from any employee within our athletic program that is detrimental to the mental or physical well-being of our student-athletes. There is nothing more important to me than our student-athletes’ safety.

You will continue to hear from me with updates on our progress. I ask that you keep Jordan’s family, friends and teammates in your prayers.


Damon Evans

Athletic Director 


  • Letter from University of Maryland President Wallace D. Loh  (August 14, 2018)

Dear University of Maryland community,

Today, Athletic Director Damon Evans and I met with the parents of Jordan McNair, a 19-year old lineman on our football team, who died in the aftermath of a workout on May 29. On behalf of the University, I apologized to them. They entrusted their son to us, and he did not return home.

An external sports medicine and athletic training expert is conducting a comprehensive review of the circumstances in this case, as well as of the policies and protocols followed by our certified athletic trainers in preventing, recognizing, and treating heat-related illness. The full report is expected to be completed by mid-September. It will be made public.

However, based on the expert's preliminary observations thus far, we know that the care provided to Jordan was not consistent with best practices. Also, our trainers did not implement appropriately the emergency action plan, misdiagnosed the severity of Jordan’s initial symptoms, did not assess vital signs, and did not promptly and properly treat for exertional heat illness.

These were mistakes on the part of some of the athletic training staff. The University accepts legal and moral responsibility for these mistakes.

Under the guidance of the experts leading our investigation, we have taken immediate steps to put additional safeguards in place for all of our athletic practices and training, not just football.

I made a commitment to Jordan's parents. I want to make the same commitment to the parents of all of our student-athletes, and to our entire campus community:

We will do everything within our power to ensure that no University of Maryland student-athlete is ever again put in a situation where his or her safety and life are at foreseeable risk.

The final report will recommend additional actions to make sure that our athletic programs are as safe as possible for all student-athletes. The implementation of these actions is one of the ways we will honor the legacy of Jordan.

I take very seriously the allegations reported in the media about the culture of our football program, citing instances of alleged intimidation and humiliation as ways to “toughen up” players. I am also mindful of other published reports in which some Maryland football players disagree with this portrayal of the program.

My office is usually informed via formal and informal ways of important issues or concerns. In this instance, upon learning of these allegations in the media, my senior staff and I acted upon them.

The University is committed to accountability, transparency and fairness. Athletic Director Evans promptly placed some Athletics personnel on administrative leave. Today, I am announcing a commission to conduct a full and expeditious review of the reported allegations of the conduct of the football staff and of the football program climate.

This commission is comprised of:

    • Ben Legg, retired Chief Judge, U.S. District Court for Maryland.
    • Alex Williams, retired Judge, U.S. District Court for Maryland and former Prince George's County State's Attorney.
    • Charlie Scheeler, senior counsel, DLA Piper; former prosecutor, U.S. Attorney’s Office for Maryland; lead counsel, investigation of steroid use in Major League Baseball; monitor of Penn State's compliance under its Athletics Integrity Agreement with the NCAA and the Big Ten Conference.
    • A retired and respected football coach and athletic administrator from outside the University, to be named soon.

The commission will interview student-athletes, their parents, staff, and other stakeholders in a manner that ensures confidential and candid responses.

We want a thriving and competitive football program that reflects the University's core values: the safety and welfare of student-athletes, and their success in the classroom, on the gridiron, and in life.

We will not countenance behaviors that are inconsistent with these values. We will take appropriate and decisive action, based upon the findings and recommendations of this commission and other information as it is made available to us.

Thank you for your continuing support of Maryland Athletics.


Wallace D. Loh

President, University of Maryland


  •  Letter from Maryland Athletic Director Damon Evans (August 11, 2018)

Dear Terps,

I am extremely concerned by the allegations of unacceptable behaviors by members of our football staff detailed in recent media reports. We are committed to fully investigating the program.  

At this time, the best decision for our football program is to place Maryland Head Football Coach DJ Durkin on leave so we can properly review the culture of the program. This is effective immediately. Matt Canada will serve as interim head coach. 

The external review into the tragic death of Jordan McNair continues, and we have committed to releasing publicly the report being prepared by an independent and national expert. 

The safety and well-being of our student-athletes is our highest priority. These alleged behaviors are not consistent with the values I expect all of our staff to adhere to and we must do better. 

You will be hearing from me as our work continues to rebuild the culture of respect in our football program. 

Damon Evans 


  • Letter from University of Maryland President Wallace D. Loh  (August 11, 2018)

Dear University of Maryland community,

I am profoundly disturbed by the media reports yesterday about verbally abusive and intimidating conduct by Maryland football coaches and staff towards our student athletes on the team. 

Such behaviors contravene the educational mission and core values of our University. They are unacceptable. They will not be tolerated.  

All of our coaches and staff who work with our student athletes are also teachers. Our responsibility as teachers is to inspire and enable students to perform at their best and expand the boundaries of their potential, in the classroom and/or on the athletic field. Humiliating and demeaning a student is not only bad teaching and coaching, it is an abuse of the authority of a teacher and coach. 

I have directed Athletic Director Damon Evans to take actions necessary to ensure the safety and success of our student athletes. In addition, the University will retain an external expert to undertake a comprehensive examination of our coaching practices in the football program, with the goal that these practices reflect -- not subvert -- the core values of our University.

Today, Athletic Director Evans has placed Head Football Coach DJ Durkin on administrative leave while this comprehensive examination is conducted. This follows Athletic Director Evans' decision to place other athletics staff members on administrative leave. Matt Canada will serve as Interim Head Football Coach.

The University of Maryland is committed to a football program that is safe and humane, and where our student-athletes are successful in their academic and athletic endeavors. This commitment will be carried out with accountability, fairness, and transparency. 

I will follow-up with a progress update.


Wallace D. Loh

President, University of Maryland 


  • University of Maryland Statement (August 10, 2018)

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. Pending the final outcome of this review, the university has placed members of the Athletics staff on administrative leave. We will be able to speak in greater detail when the review is complete and shared with the public. Our thoughts remain with Jordan McNair’s family, friends and teammates. 


  • Update on External Review (August 3, 2018)

Today the university provided the contract with Walters Inc., to media outlets who had requested it under Maryland's Public Informtaion Act. To request a copy of the contract, please email mediainfo@umd.edu

In response to a question from the media, a university spokesperson said: 

"Every football student-athlete was invited and encouraged to participate in the external review, and they were offered the opportunity to speak confidentially and directly with Walters Inc." 


  • University of Maryland Statement (July 19, 2018)

All players have resumed workouts and official practices will begin August 3. We continue to think of Jordan's grieving family, as our community mourns his loss. 

The university immediately sought and secured experts to conduct a thorough and impartial review. We are making every effort to understand as much as we can about this tragedy, as the safety of our students is the highest priority. 

  • External Review Scope (July 12, 2018)

The University of Maryland proactively hired Walters Inc., to perform a review of the care our student-athletes receive before, during and after competition. The review is led by Dr. Rod Walters, a national leader in athletic standards of care.

Walters Inc., will  perform an independent evaluation of ICA's procedures and protocols related to the recent death of a University football player and review the football program's procedures and protocols involving student-athlete health and safety applicable to:planning and conducting team conditioning and practice sessions; and for responding to health emergencies during or after those sessions. 

  • Summary (As of July 12, 2018)

The team gathered for a scheduled, supervised workout at approximately 4:15 pm on May 29th and the temperature was approximately 80 degrees. The workout was held at the Varsity Team House Practice Fields. 

All of our eligible football players participated in the conditioning workout designed by our staff. Our team has done this particular workout the past two seasons. The workout consisted of a warm-up, baseline running drills and position-specific drills.

The workout was supervised by our strength and conditioning staff, and certified athletic trainers were present throughout. Coach Durkin was at the workout. 

Each student-athlete was given a gallon of water at the start of the day and weighed-in prior to the workout. Water, gatorade and snacks are available throughout the day and workout, and lunch was provided to the team. 

All players are required to receive a medical clearance at the start of the practice season. All players participating in the workout received their medical clearance from our team physician.

Following the completion of the workout, our trainers noticed Jordan was having problems recovering. They began supporting an active recovery and providing care. He was talking to our trainers throughout. 

He was then moved via gator to the athletic training room in the football team house for further observation and continued treatment. 

Staff contacted medical personnel and dialed 911. 

Emergency personnel began arriving on the scene at approximately 6pm and Jordan was transported to the hospital. 

All players have resumed workouts and official practices will begin August 3

The university is contracting with Walters Incorporated to conduct an external review. The review is evaluating relevant policies and protocols, as the safety and well-being of our student-athletes is the highest priority. 

  • Quotes from the Maryland Athletics Press Conference for the Athletic Director Announcement (June 26, 2018) 

“We are all still grieving for Jordan McNair who, as you know, tragically passed away at the age of only 19. Known as a gentle giant, we will forever remember him wearing number 79. We are all still grieving." - Wallace D. Loh, University of Maryland President

“We lost a member of our family. A young man who, just with his smile, warmed up a room. A young man who loved Chipotle Thursday, which his roommate is going to continue. At his services we got to see what he was really about by the people who filled the room. The people who showed up were a representation of his life. Let us not forget Jordan McNair because he will forever be apart of who we are.” - Damon Evans, University of Maryland Athletic Director 


  • University of Maryland Statement on External Review & Football Practice Schedule (June 19, 2018) 

The university is contracting with Walters Incorporated to conduct an external review, and the review will begin by week's end. The review will evaluate relevant policies and protocols, as the safety and well-being of our student-athletes is the highest priority. 

Football players have been informed that regularly scheduled practices are voluntary until further notice. First and foremost the focus is on the well-being of our student-athletes, and this time is for them to grieve. We will continue to provide the resources our student-athletes need, which includes counseling services and access to spiritual leaders, during this difficult time.


  • Tweets from University of Maryland President, Wallace D. Loh 

President Loh Tweet- Jordan McNair

Link to tweet (June 14, 2018) 

President Loh Tweet- Jordan McNair

Link to tweet (June 20, 2018)


  • Maryland Athletics Press Conference for Jordan McNair (June 14, 2018) 


  • Tweets From Maryland Athletics

UMTerps Tweet- Jordan McNair

Link to tweet (June 13, 2018) 


  • Message From UMD Executive Athletic Director Damon Evans on Jordan McNair: Maryland Family Mourns Passing of Jordan McNair (June 13, 2018)

Dear Terrapin Family,

We are deeply saddened by the tragic loss of one of our student-athletes, sophomore football player Jordan McNair. Jordan was a tremendous athlete, student, teammate and friend, and he will be sorely missed. We offer our deepest condolences to his parents, family and friends.

Jordan was hospitalized following an organized team workout on May 29 and passed away today, June 13. For those who had the opportunity to know Jordan, you understand the sadness we are feeling.

Coach DJ Durkin asked me to pass along the following thoughts on his behalf:

Our team is heartbroken with the loss of Jordan McNair. Jordan was an incredible young man, and his passion and enthusiasm made him an invaluable and beloved member of our team. Jordan was a hard worker and he always had a smile on his face. He was an extremely talented football player and a humble and genuine human being. He embodied the essence of what it means to be a teammate. Jordan was a fighter. Over the past few weeks, Jordan never gave up with his family, friends and team by his side. Our team will continue to be inspired by the spirit of this brave fighter. Please continue to pray for Jordan’s family during this difficult time.

Counseling services are available for our student-athletes and for our staff.

Our thoughts and support continue to be with his family as they grieve the loss of this outstanding young man.


Damon Evans

Executive Athletic Director