University of Maryland president Wallace Loh said Tuesday the school informed the parents of offensive lineman Jordan McNair it “accepts legal and moral responsibility” for the mistakes that led to his June 13 death two weeks after being hospitalized following an offseason team workout.
“The university accepts legal and moral responsibility for the mistakes that our training staff made on that fateful day of May 29th,” the UMD president told reporters.
Loh and athletic director Damon Evans held a press conference after meeting with the family. The McNair family released a statement after their meeting with school officials.
Statement via the McNair family lawyers: pic.twitter.com/7Z5GcPV9X1
— Nicole Auerbach (@NicoleAuerbach) August 14, 2018
Medical experts say McNair’s health might have hinged on Maryland’s adherence to medical guidelines for treating heatstroke, including cold-water immersion — a protocol that doctors say likely saved former Towson football player Gavin Class’ life after he was stricken during a practice in 2013. According to ESPN, they waited an hour after the offensive lineman suffered a seizure before calling 911.
An independent investigation into the circumstances surrounding McNair’s death already was ongoing.
The university has already cut ties with its top football strength and conditioning coach, Rick Court, who According to Yahoo Sports, has reached a financial settlement with Maryland under which he’ll receive a lump sum of $315,000, two-thirds of what he was due for the remainder of his contract.
“I am blessed for the relationships I have built and wish nothing but success for our team,” Court wrote, in part, in a farewell letter he tweeted after the news conference that also said he had been “deeply impacted” by McNair’s death.
McNair’s death is unfortunate but at the same time, it could be the spark that puts a spotlight on hazing problems around college football. No amount of apologizing will bring back McNair to his loved ones.