D.J. Durkin sent letter to parents of Maryland players acknowledging ESPN reports
In an attempt to get out ahead of bombshell reports by ESPN, Maryland coach D.J. Durkin sent a letter to parents of Terrapins players.
The Baltimore Sun obtained a copy of the letter, which was drafted before the reports were published Friday night. ESPN’s first report looked at what happened the day of the death of Maryland OL Jordan McNair. On May 29, McNair took part in an offseason workout run by the strength and conditioning staff. McNair would leave that workout in transport to Washington Adventist Hospital. He was later transferred to a trauma center where he died on June 13. The second report “The inside story of a toxic culture at Maryland football” looked at the extreme physical demands, bullying and other intimidation tactics used by the Maryland coaching staff according to various sources both on- and off-the-record.
“The past few months have been very difficult for our program,” Durkin wrote in the letter, per The Sun. “Based on feedback from our parent meeting in June, we want to keep the lines of communication open.”
“Our priority every day is the safety along with the academic, personal and athletic development of your sons. During this time of healing, our focus needs to be on each other and unity within our program.”
In the letter, Durkin says the school is cooperating fully with Rod Walters’ investigation into McNair’s death. Walters was hired by Maryland to conduct the investigation. The ESPN report includes quotes from players saying they did not feel they had the necessary privacy or anonymity to speak freely about the offseason workouts or football program in general due to the investigation interviews being held in football offices and facilities.