Maryland president Wallace D. Loh held a news conference Tuesday to take “legal and moral responsibility” for the circumstances leading to the death of 19-year-old offensive lineman Jordan McNair and the “mistakes the training staff made” on the day he fell ill. McNair died of heatstroke at R Adams Cowley Shock Trauma Center on June 13.
Loh and athletic director Damon Evans also spoke with the family of McNair on Tuesday morning to express their condolences.
Here’s what sports writers and reporters — as well as one candidate for governor — had to say about the way Maryland has handled the situation:
» The editorial board of Maryland’s college newspaper The Diamondback condemned Maryland’s actions entirely.
“This wasn't just a student-athlete dying. This was a student-athlete dying from an ailment he suffered on the practice field, that has a 100 percent survival rate when properly treated. Such a tragedy warrants a swift response to show everyone — players and staff, as well as fans and the public — that what happened was unacceptable and won't happen again. … The university's mind-boggling decisions over the past two months not only spectacularly failed to abate the massive scandal McNair's death has now rightfully caused, but also may result in additional tumult for the athletic department and the school as a whole.”
» Jeff Ermann, of 247Sports, questioned why Loh made this statement in August and not when it happened.
» Aaron Torres, a college football writer for The Athletic, shared a similar sentiment.
» Michael McCann, a legal analyst for Sports Illustrated, pointed out how unusual an apology from a university can be in a situation like this.
» And ABC 7 News sports reporter Scott Abraham connected McNair’s death to the football program under coach DJ Durkin, which had been called “toxic” in recent days.
» Ben Jealous, the Democratic candidate in the Maryland gubernatorial race, released a statement saying that putting coach DJ Durkin on administrative leave and firing strength and conditioning coach Rick Court was the right call, but that not everyone who should be punished has been yet.
"Today, Athletics Director Evans refused to take responsibility for the football program under his watch. It is still unclear what his role was in allowing unsafe and damaging practices to take place and and why he did nothing to change that culture until public pressure left no other choice. I reiterate my call for the university to do the right thing for our students and suspend Evans until their outside investigations are complete."