With football season just three weeks away, the University of Maryland may be starting the season without their head coach.
The school has suspended coach DJ Durkin following a troubling report by ESPN claiming a toxic culture within the football program. Durkin and other officials have weighed in.
Durkin says he supports the University of Maryland's decision to suspend him.
“We must have complete confidence that our student athletes are treated with dignity and respect,” said Governor Larry Hogan.
Durkin's suspension came after ESPN published a report with strong allegations of toxicity within UMD’s football program.
Multiple sources told ESPN Durkin and other coaches used fear and intimidation, often pushing players well beyond their physical limits.
One of the team's players died in June due to heat stroke. 19-year-old Jordan McNair, who played for the McDonogh School, collapsed during a workout and died 15 days later.
McNair's family attorney Billy Murphy says he wouldn't be surprised if this hurts the school's football program.
“There is a football program that has to be straightened out before any reasonable parent would want to send their child into the midst of what is going on now,” Murphy said.
McNair's family is planning to file a lawsuit against UMD for Jordan's death.
Meanwhile, one college football coach is coming to Durkin's defense. Will Muschamp of the University of South Carolina says Durkin was respectful to people when he worked for him.