Story By: Richard Thomas
Photos By: Sol Tucker
To say the last few years at Maryland Football have been a little less than confusing for the average fan could possibly be a understatement. Under the current problems the program is facing with the team placing Head Coach D.J Durkin on administrative leave pending the outcome of the investigation of the death of Jordan McNair, it just puts the program in yet another eyesore state with no saline in sight.
What’s next for a program that has players speaking in secret with the fear of backlash from what may or may not be true. Would this be a big deal if the team was winning? Some say no matter what, the feeling of toxicity at Maryland began long before the death of McNair and something needed to be done with the style of coaching Durkin put in place at Maryland.
Former players and former staffers have accused Durkin, 40, of imposing oppressive conditions on players as well as bullying and intimidating them. Durkin, who Maryland hired away from the University of Michigan in December 2015, also faces criticism for the manner in which he oversaw head strength and conditioning coach Rick Court. Court, who has also been placed on leave, allegedly threw weights in the direction of players and engaged in other dangerous behaviors. There are serious concerns about the circumstances and training conditions that led to the death of McNair, who died two weeks after collapsing while running sprints, and possible moral and legal responsibility on the part of Durkin’s coaching staff.
Despite all of the goings-on around this now problem for the team, the coach sort of seemed to be on ice skates after the past few seasons, which many placed blame on losing all of the quarterbacks that were projected as starters, but there were some close games last season where the team just seemed to not show up in a few games that by no way could be placed on one position.
Anyway you look at this on-going investigation, its not good for a team that opens play against Texas on September 1st at FedEx Field in Landover.
Plenty of talent returns to the team in what could have perhaps put their best effort on the field since Durkin arrived at Maryland three seasons ago.