Maryland coach DJ Durkin placed on leave by administration as investigation begins

Maryland Stadium

Maryland Stadium

SC head coach Will Muschamp spoke out in support of his former defensive coordinator and current Maryland head coach DJ Durkin after a bombshell report published Friday claimed the football program developed a toxic culture under Durkin.

The school also announced it will run a thorough examination of its coaching practices in the wake of an ESPN report regarding the death of Maryland lineman Jordan McNair in June. Like some investigative reporting, it relies on unnamed sources - specifically "two current Maryland players, multiple people close to the football program, and former players and football staffers".

In Evans's statement, the athletic director says that the school will publicly release the external review it is conducting into McNair's death. Matt Canada will serve as the interim head coach.

Evans said he was extremely concerned by the allegations of "unacceptable behaviors" by members of the Maryland football in the ESPN report.

Jordan McNair, 19, died in June, reportedly from heatstroke after suffering from "extreme exhaustion" after a workout in May, reports said.

Following McNair's death June 13, the university hired sports medicine consulting firm Walters Inc.to investigate player safety protocols.

ESPN first published its report Friday that detailed a coaching environment "based on fear and intimidation" and was particularly critical of the behavior of strength and conditioning coach Rick Court, who was one of Durkin's first hires at Maryland. The ESPN report also cast doubt on the legitimacy if that investigation, reporting that interviews with players didn't begin until this month and were held in near-proximity to coaches' offices.

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan said he supports the university's decision to place Durkin on leave.

Court was placed on paid leave as part of the investigation into the article's claims, The Associated Press reported Saturday, citing an anonymous source.

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