Investigation Into McNair Death Cost Maryland $1.57M

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The University of Maryland is discovering the high cost of uncovering the truth.

An investigation last fall into the Terrapins football program will cost the University System of Maryland more than $1.57 million, according to an ESPN report which cited numbers from a Washington Poststory. The commission’s investigation was the second conducted by the university relating to the death of 19-year-old offensive lineman Jordan McNair, who died of heatstroke during a team practice.

Law firm DLA Piper tasked eight commissioners to the case, each of whom submitted six-figure invoices at a rate of $650 per hour. On top of the individual invoices, DLA Piper charged the university $636,772.

For its part, the university said the costs of the investigation were in line with expectations.

"From the outset, the board was committed to an exhaustive and careful process that would enhance the safety and health of student-athletes, immediately and in the long term," the University System of Maryland said in a statement. "The expenses incurred are in line with those of investigations of similar scope conducted at Big Ten and other NCAA universities."

The University System of Maryland released the following statement, saying finding the truth about what happened in McNair's death was the top priority: 

In assuming leadership from the University of Maryland, College Park (UMCP) of two independent investigations stemming from the tragic death of Jordan McNair, the USM Board of Regents' highest priority was to accurately and assertively learn every fact possible and to implement all recommendations necessary to safeguard the physical and emotional well-being of student-athletes at UMCP and throughout the system.  

The independent commission — comprised of eight individuals, including executives with expertise in college athletics and medicine, as well as two retired federal judges — expended hundreds of hours interviewing 165 current and former players, parents, coaches, university officials and others, and reviewing thousands of documents, emails and text messages.

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