Prince George's County emergency dispatcher just before 6 p.m. May 29, 2018. (Baltimore Sun video)
The workout from which University of Maryland offensive lineman Jordan McNair struggled to recover was the former McDonogh star’s first with the team in over a month, according to a review of the football team’s participation logs obtained by The Baltimore Sun.
The university on Friday also released the contract for an external review of the football team’s health and safety protocols — spurred by the death of the 19-year-old — indicating that it is expected to conclude by Sept. 15, the day the team is scheduled to play Temple in its third game of the season.
McNair, a Randallstown resident, was hospitalized May 29 after collapsing during an organized team workout in College Park. University officials said McNair had difficulty recovering after a series of 110-yard sprints, described as a “baseline” conditioning activity. He died June 13. McNair’s family has said the cause was heatstroke.
The NCAA-required Countable Athletically Related Activity records, released Friday by the university after a public-records request, show that McNair had last participated in “Weights and Conditioning” work with the team April 26. From April 15, the day after the Terps’ annual spring football game, to April 26, McNair participated in 14 hours of weights and conditioning work, according to the university’s records.
McNair also participated in two hours of a so-called Required Athletically Related Activity, broadly defined as a team meeting or activity not involving exercise or instruction, on May 4, the logs show. That was his last documented team activity until May 29, the day the university’s summer term began.
The 33-day period over which McNair did not participate in team activities overlapped with the final weeks of the school’s spring semester. The last day of final exams was May 18; CARA documentation was not provided for the period of May 19 to May 28.
The university announced in June that it contracted Walters Inc. to evaluate the team’s procedures. The sports medicine consulting group is led by Dr. Rod Walters, a South Carolina-based former college athletic trainer.
The university’s contract with Walters Inc. — obtained by The Sun through a public-records request — states that the university will pay the company no more than $24,000. Walters Inc. will be paid $250 an hour to review documents, $350 an hour for consultations and $3,500 per day for court appearances or depositions.
The Walters Inc. contract states “consultants will visit campus for review of facilities and interview with professionals involved in care of deceased student-athlete including but not limited to athletic trainers, physicians, support staff, strength coaches, and other professionals involved.”
Every football player was “invited and encouraged to participate in the external review,” university spokeswoman Katie Lawson wrote in an emailed statement.
“They were offered the opportunity to speak confidentially and directly with Walters Inc.,” she wrote.
The contractors will compare the way the state’s flagship university provides healthcare to its student-athletes against federal and state laws, along with industry best practices.
The university is expected to provide a range of documents to the consultants, including staffing schedules for all workouts, some medical records and the athletic department’s budget for sports medicine and athletic training
According to a timeline released by the university, the football team gathered for a supervised workout at 4:15 p.m. May 29. It was about 80 degrees that day. The eligible players participated in “warm-up, baseline running drills and position-specific drills.” Strength and conditioning staff, certified athletic trainers and head football coach DJ Durkin were present throughout.
The university said that trainers noticed McNair was having trouble recovering after the workout ended. Staff began “supporting an active recovery and providing care” before he was moved to the athletic training room. Staff then called 911, and McNair was taken to the hospital around 6 p.m.
McNair appeared to have suffered a seizure and was “unable to control” his breath after the May 29 workout, according to 911 tapes obtained by The Sun. Medical personnel arrived at Gossett Football Team House in College Park less than five minutes after the emergency call was logged, an incident report shows, and McNair was taken to Washington Adventist Hospital, in nearby Takoma Park.