Maryland

Dad Says University of Maryland Football Program Is ‘Not Toxic' at Parent Meeting on Player's Death

Parents, players and University of Maryland officials are meeting Saturday after the team's assistant coach resigned amid an investigation into the death of a player.

One parent told News4 that the investigation is necessary, but said he was upset with an ESPN report in which unidentified players, former players and staff alleged coaches cultivated a toxic environment.

"This program is not toxic," said Darryl Turner, who said he has played and coached football. "This program is a great family environment."

Turner said his son had no complains about the program, but they were shocked by the death of player Jordan McNair. 

"It was a blow," Turner said.

McNair, an offensive lineman preparing for his sophomore season, died on June 13. He was 19.

McNair was sent to a hospital after a team workout on May 29.

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Several coaches and training staff had been on administrative leave following a scathing ESPN report quoting unidentified players, former players and former members of head coach DJ Durkin's staff, who contended assistant coach Rick Court and Durkin created a toxic culture within the program. The report included claims Court verbally abused and humiliated players. He has since resigned

University President Wallace Loh says the university takes full legal and moral responsibility for the decision of athletic staff. The Board of Regents took over the investigation into both McNair's death and the football program's culture, News4 reported.

A private scrimmage is scheduled following the parent meeting.

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