The University of Maryland has announced it will commission an external investigation into the death of offensive lineman Jordan McNair.
McNair, 19, struggled during a May 29 NCAA-sanctioned and mandatory team workout that involved 10 110-yard sprints. He was taken from the practice to a team house for treatment and then to the hospital before being airlifted to R Adams Cowley Shock Trauma Center in Baltimore where he received a liver transplant. McNair died Wednesday.
"The prudent thing to do and the right thing to do when a situation like this arises is to do a review to make sure that the proper protocols were followed," Maryland athletic director Damon Evans said at a press conference Thursday. "We believe it's important to bring in an external group to conduct the review. We started that process of discussing from the moment Jordan was hospitalized, and we will have a team that will provide us the necessary feedback so we can move forward."
According to ESPN.com, Evans' understanding of the situation so far is that players were given a gallon of water the morning of the workout. The team ate lunch at 2:30 p.m. and was provided with snacks and Gatorade throughout the day. The workout, described by head coach DJ Durking as a baseline workout, began at 4:15 p.m., when the temperature on the practice field was around 80 degrees. Members of Maryland's strength-and-conditioning staff, as well as certified athletic trainers, supervised the workout. The 6-foot-4, 325-pound McNair completed the 10 sprints, but struggled to recover. Evans said it wasn't clear at what specific time athletic trainers administered care to McNair, but that "they were immediately over to him."
An emotional Durkin paid tribute to McNair. "Jordan was such a tremendous person," Durkin said during Thursday's press conference. "As big as he was stature-wise, his heart was much bigger. He had a great way about him. A quiet smile. It was hard to get a word out of him. It was also hard to have a conversation with him without him bringing a smile to your own face. There's a whole team of players, coaches, staff that love him very much, and for that reason everyone is grieving right now."