D.J. Durkin's 2016 comments about Rick Court troubling in wake of recent scandal
Comments that D.J. Durkin made in regards to ex-strength and conditioning coordinator Rick Court may be pretty damning for the Maryland head coach as an investigation into the culture of the football program progresses.
On Tuesday afternoon, University of Maryland president Wallace Loh and athletic director Damon Evans met with reporters to talk about the death of football player Jordan McNair and the ongoing investigation into the “toxic” culture of the football program. During the press conference, Evans said that school ‘parted ways‘ with Court, who was the strength and conditioning coordinator.
Court was one of the primary targets in an ESPN report claiming that there was a culture of bullying, abuse and intimidation established.
Now, a 2016 conversation between Sports Illustrated and Durkin appears even more troubling in wake of the recent reports and McNair’s death.
COLUMN: With strength coach Rick Court out, Maryland coach DJ Durkin must be next.
Court led the workout that led to Jordan McNair’s tragic death—& implemented an allegedly abusive culture.
Durkin said they were “totally synchronized."https://t.co/KUjE1AjtnQ
via @usatodaysports pic.twitter.com/OLFULUQtL0
— George Schroeder (@GeorgeSchroeder) August 14, 2018
In 2016, here’s what Durkin had to say about the relationship between he and court:
It’s so important, I believe, that the strength coach and the head coach are directly in line with one another in terms of what’s important, what’s the message we’re delivering, and Rick and I are. We’re totally synchronized in that and so he’s huge. He’s critical to all we do.
Considering all the allegations from the ESPN report, that brief statement about Court is discouraging.
Durkin and other members of his coaching staff are still on administrative leave while an investigative team looks into the culture of the football program.