Maryland’s Head Coach Sent on Leave Following Accusations of Abuse
The University of Maryland has placed its head coach on paid leave following accusations of harassment and intimidation of the football players.
The action was taken following an ESPN report on “toxic culture at Maryland football” which brought out disturbing methods used by DJ Durkin to coach football players primarily relying on fear, intimidation, humiliation, verbal abuse and using food punitively.
The university has further placed other athletics staff members on administrative leave and appointed Matt Canada as the interim head football coach. Durkin coaching practices came under the spotlight after Maryland football player died in June following a football workout.
University President Wallace D. Loh, while expressing his concern, ensured a safe and humane football program.
“Such behaviors contravene the educational mission and core values of our University. They are unacceptable. They will not be tolerated,” Wallace wrote in a letter to the community.
I am profoundly disturbed by media reports of intimidating conduct by Maryland football coaches and staff. Today, AD Damon Evans has placed Head Football Coach DJ Durkin on administrative leave while a comprehensive examination is conducted https://t.co/W5LoMoQp4f
— Wallace D. Loh (@presidentloh) August 11, 2018
He further wrote, “All of our coaches and staff who work with our student-athletes are also teachers. Our responsibility as teachers is to inspire and enable students to perform at their best and expand the boundaries of their potential, in the classroom and/or on the athletic field.”
“The University of Maryland is committed to a football program that is safe and humane, and where our student-athletes are successful in their academic and athletic endeavors. This commitment will be carried out with accountability, fairness, and transparency. ,” the letter reads.
The university has further announced the hiring of an external expert to examine the coaching practices at its football program.