Maryland has placed members of football coach DJ Durkin's support staff on paid administrative leave based on the initial findings of the external review examining the circumstances leading to the death of redshirt freshman Jordan McNair, the university announced Friday.
A school spokeswoman declined to name the individuals who were placed on leave, pending the outcome of the review being conducted by Walters Inc., a South Carolina-based sports medicine consulting firm. That review is expected to be finished no later than Sept. 15.
McNair died June 13, 15 days after having difficulty recovering from the conditioning test players need to complete in order to participate in preseason workouts.
McNair's family announced on a website to announce the establishment of a foundation in his honor that the 19-year-old lineman died from heatstroke.
The school issued a statement Friday on the decision to put staffers on leave: "Following the death of Maryland football player Jordan McNair in June, the University of Maryland commissioned an external review of the procedures and protocols surrounding athletes' health and safety. Pending the final outcome of this review, the university has placed members of the athletics staff on administrative leave. We will be able to speak in greater detail when the review is complete and shared with the public. Our thoughts remain with Jordan McNair's family, friends and teammates."
A source confirmed that Durkin, who is going into his third season with the program, will remain Terps coach. On Friday, in his first interview since the start of fall practice, Durkin told Big Ten Network that McNair's death was a "tremendous loss."
"Every guy is at a different stage of a grieving process, and we are as a team," he said. "So the one thing we've done here through camp, and we said this and we've done it, we're going to talk about it. It's OK to talk about it. We're not going to just ignore it and pretend we're going to move on. We're going to talk about it. So we have guys get up and talk to the team at night, and that's been brought up quite a bit.
"There's not a day that goes by that anyone doesn't think about it, talk about it. So, all in all, I think our guys have done a good job. They've handled things. We've had some really good practices, but it's certainly present."
In releasing some details about the incident, the university confirmed Durkin was on the field when the conditioning test consisting of 10 110-yard dashes was being administered.
An unidentified caller described McNair's breathing problems to a Prince George's County emergency dispatcher just before 6 p.m. according to an audio copy of two calls and an incident report released by the county's Office of Homeland Security after a public-records request.
According to the 911 tape obtained by The Baltimore Sun, McNair appeared to have suffered a seizure and was "unable to control" his breath after the football practice that led to his hospitalization. In a second call, a first responder reported to dispatchers that McNair had a seizure.
McNair arrived at Washington Adventist Hospital, in nearby Takoma Park, at 6:36 p.m., according to the county's report, before being transported to the Cowley Shock Trauma Center in Baltimore, where he remained until his death.