After Maryland football player’s death, strength coach resigns and university says ‘mistakes were made’

The University of Maryland football team’s strength and conditioning coach has resigned, and the school acknowledged “mistakes were made” in the treatment of 19-year-old Jordan McNair, who collapsed on a practice field and subsequently died.

Following a news conference on Tuesday, Maryland announced that Rick Court had resigned.

Athletic director Damon Evans and university President Wallace Loh met with McNair’s parents on Tuesday morning. McNair, a defensive lineman, collapsed on the field May 29 after a team workout; he died June 13.

Court had been placed on administrative leave. Head coach DJ Durkin remains on administrative leave.

“We have hired an external review team to take a look at this,” Evans said at the news conference, “but as additional information comes forward, we will do what’s appropriate.”


The attorney for the McNair family said a preliminary death certificate indicates the cause of death was heatstroke.

“We have learned that Jordan did not receive appropriate medical care, and mistakes were made by some of our athletic training personnel,” Evans said.

Dr. Rod Walters, a former college athletic trainer, has been hired by Maryland to investigate the circumstances of the death. A report is expected by Sept. 15, but the school has been provided preliminary findings and shared some of those in a news conference.

“Walters found that the emergency response plan was not appropriately followed,” Evans said, adding that McNair’s symptoms “were not properly identified or treated.”

Loh said: “The university accepts legal and moral responsibility for the mistakes that were made on that fateful day. They misdiagnosed the situation.”


1:55 p.m.: This article has been updated with quotes and additional information.

This article was originally published at 12:30 p.m.