Update (8/11, 7:37 a.m.): According to ESPN, strength and conditioning coach Rick Court has also been placed on administrative leave. A second ESPN article on Aug. 10 described multiple cases of abuse and bullying toward Maryland football players from Court.
Update (8/11, 7:07 a.m.): According to ESPN, Maryland has placed head football athletic trainer Wes Robinson and director of athletic training Steve Nordwall on administrative leave.
Maryland offensive lineman Jordan McNair faced physical difficulties prior to finishing his offseason workout on May 29, which contradicts statements from athletic director Damon Evans, according to a new ESPN report published Friday.
Evans previously said that McNair was “having problems recovering” at the conclusion of the workout.
McNair collapsed at the organized team workout — which featured a series of 110-yard sprints — and was eventually transported to Cowley Shock Trauma Center in Baltimore, before he died on June 13.
A foundation website created by McNair’s family stated that heatstroke was the cause of his death.
According to the ESPN report, McNair showed “signs of extreme exhaustion, had difficulty standing upright while running a set of 110-yard sprints and was found to have a body temperature of 106 degrees at a local hospital before he died of heatstroke suffered during a football workout.”
ESPN spoke with multiple people who were present at the workout. One player told ESPN, “There were multiple people that said, ‘Wow, Jordan looks f—ed up, he doesn’t look all right.’”
Another player told ESPN, “Jordan was obviously not in control of his body. He was flopping all around. There were two trainers on either side of him bearing a lot of weight. They interlocked their legs with his in order to keep him standing.”
In addition to that, the ESPN report claims that multiple sources stated that at the conclusion of the 10th sprint, Wes Robinson, who has been Maryland’s head football trainer for many years, screamed, “Drag his ass across the field!”
On Friday, the university released a press release regarding the status of multiple unnamed members of Maryland’s athletic staff:
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.
In July, McNair’s family hired Murphy, Falcon & Murphy, a Baltimore law firm, to investigate the circumstances surrounding his death. According to ESPN, a lawsuit is “likely” to be filed.
“Our preliminary investigation reveals there is an unexplained one-hour time period when nothing significant was done to avoid the complications of heatstroke,” McNair family attorney Billy Murphy told ESPN. “Although there is some evidence they allegedly tried to cool him down, he should have been iced immediately. He presented at the hospital with a temperature of 106, which means he was not cooled down.”
The university hired Walters, Inc., a sports medicine consulting group, to conduct an external review. A final report is expected by Sept. 15.
Ryan Homler also contributed to this story