South Carolina's Will Muschamp passionately defended his former defensive coordinator DJ Durkin this morning in the wake of an ESPN report which paints the picture of a "toxic culture" surrounding Maryland football.
Maryland is conducting an external investigation into offensive lineman Jordan McNair's death after a May workout.
"At this time, the best decision for our football program is to place Maryland Head Coach DJ Durkin on leave so we can properly review the culture of the program". McNair, 19, reportedly died of heatstroke in June after being hospitalized with a body temperature of 106 degrees.
Ben Jealous, a candidate for Maryland governor, is also calling for the suspensions of Durkin and Evans, until an investigation into McNair's death has been finished.
Following McNair's death June 13, the university hired sports medicine consulting firm Walters Inc.to investigate player safety protocols.
"Jordan was a tremendous athlete, student, teammate, and friend, and he will be sorely missed", Executive Athletic Director Damon Evans said in June.
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"I would never, ever, ever allow my child to be coached there", said a former Maryland staffer who was quoted in the story.
"I am extremely concerned by the allegations of unacceptable behaviors by members of our football staff detailed in recent media reports", Evans said in his statement.
Strength and conditioning coach Rick Court is the most frequently named member of the coaching staff, though head coach D.J. Durkin's name arises as well, and he and Court are described as like-minded.
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.
After the Maryland athletic department placed Durkin on leave Saturday afternoon, Gov. Larry Hogan released a statement in support of the decision.