The president of the University of Maryland said on Tuesday the school "accepts legal and moral responsibility for the mistakes" made by the athletic training staff surrounding the devastating death of 19-year-old offensive lineman Jordan McNair.
On May 29, McNair suffered heatstroke during a team workout on May 29, which ultimately led to his death, reported ESPN.com.
According to the McNair family attorney, Billy Murphy, McNair had a body temperature of 106 degrees when he was admitted to Washington Adventist Hospital immediately after the workout. Although his temperature was extremely high, nobody from the university called 911 until an hour after McNair suffered a seizure at 5 p.m.
Although the University of Maryland claims "no student-athlete, trainer or coach has reported a 5 p.m. seizure," an external review found McNair "did not receive appropriate medical care and mistakes were made by some of our athletic training personnel."
McNair died on June 13, two weeks later.
According to preliminary findings led by Walters Inc., the Maryland athletic staff did not take McNair's temperature at the workout, did not apply a cold-water immersion treatment and did not follow the emergency response plan appropriately.
"The care provided was not consistent with best practices, and heat illness was not properly identified or treated," athletic director Damon Evans said Tuesday.
The university also has parted ways with Rick Court, the assistant athletic director for sports performance. Loh said he and athletic director Damon Evans visited with McNair's family in Baltimore earlier Tuesday "to express on behalf of the university our apology for the loss of their son."
In a written statement, Loh wrote: "They entrusted their son to us, and he did not return home."
The death of McNair has prompted several former athletes and staff members to come forward and shed light on the alleged culture of abuse and bullying within the Maryland football program.
On Saturday, head coach DJ Durkin was placed on paid administrative leave.
When asked at Tuesday’s press conference what responsibility the head coach has in McNair’s death, Evans responded, "At the end of the day, we've got to take a look at that."
"That's why we're having the external review," Evans said, "led by a team of experts to see where we come out."
Loh also said Durkin and other suspended staffers deserve "due process."
"As additional information comes forward," Evans said, "we will do what's appropriate."
(Photo: Barbara Haddock Taylor/Baltimore Sun/TNS via Getty Images)
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