As part of its response to the practice-related death of football player Jordan McNair 10 months ago, the University of Maryland on Thursday announced the formation of a 10-person independent medical review board that will review policies regarding athlete health and welfare, including best practices typically recommended by the NCAA, according to The Baltimore Sun.
Rod Walters, the former athletic trainer hired by Maryland to audit its emergency response in the wake of the 19-year-old McNair's fatal heatstroke, will head the board made up mostly of current and former athletic trainers and medical professionals. These include three athletic trainers: Ron Courson of Georgia, Matt Laursen of Boston University and Cynthia "Sam" Booth, a National Athletic Trainers Association inductee who retired in 2016 after 36 years in the field. Rounding out the board are Radford University strength coach Scott Bennett, retired orthopedic surgeon Robert Peele, Carolina Panthers nutritionist and former All-American swimmer Jennifer Brunelli, Notre Dame team physician Matt Leiszler, Maryland assistant professor of operations and management Sean Barnes, and Maryland state trooper and flight paramedic Ed Strapp.
"Our mission is to ensure that every single student-athlete at the University of Maryland receives the best possible care," athletic director Damon Evans said in a statement. "I am grateful that this distinguished group will bring their expertise to reviewing our practices across the full spectrum of student-athlete care and well-being as part of our commitment to ensuring that best practices and policies are adhered to every day on our campus."
"I appreciate the University of Maryland's full embrace of the recommendations made last fall, and look forward to continuing to work with them in support of the well-being of their student-athletes," Walters said in a statement. "This board will bring some of the most insightful professionals from across the country to College Park to further work with current staff specific to best practices and current standards."