2 Maryland football players defend D.J. Durkin on record
Two Maryland football players, redshirt junior DT Oseh Saine and junior P Wade Lees, have gone on record in defense of embattled coach D.J. Durkin. Both players spoke to Washington, D.C. CBS WUSA’s Daren Haynes and shared their support of Durkin, who is currently on administrative leave.
Durkin is on leave after a pair of bombshell ESPN reports. The first report detailed the timeline of events surrounding the death of OL Jordan McNair, who died of heatstroke at a local trauma center after being taken to the hospital following a May 29 team workout. The second report detailed a “toxic culture” under Durkin and his staff, citing belittling, fear, intimidation and verbal abuse as common tactics to control players.
Saine shared stories similar to what was reported by ESPN.
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Saine told WUSA9 he witnessed a coach verbally belittle a player. He also said he witnessed a player outside of Jordan McNair, pass out during or after a workout.
In another incident, Saine said he witnessed a player being forced to eat a candy bar as he was made to watch teammates working out. Saine went on to say “maybe that was a little excessive.”
Even after sharing those stories, Saine still supports Durkin.
“I hope his name is reputation doesn’t get tarnished,” Saine told WUSA. “He doesn’t deserve any of the things people are saying about him.”
Lees also told WUSA he hopes the Terrapins coach keeps his job.
“I really hope coach Durkin comes back to coach us, because he’s done all the hard work to getting us so close to succeeding,” Lees said.