Maryland Strength Coach Rick Court Resigns in Wake of Jordan McNair's Death

Kyle Newport@@KyleNewportFeatured ColumnistAugust 14, 2018

MIAMI, FL - SEPTEMBER 09: Assistant athletic director of football sport performance Rick Court of the Maryland Terrapins celebrates after the Terrapins' defense makes a stop on fourth down during the first half of the game against the FIU Panthers at FIU Stadium on September 9, 2016 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Rob Foldy/Getty Images)
Rob Foldy/Getty Images

Maryland Terrapins strength coach Rick Court has resigned amid an investigation into the allegations of a "toxic culture" detailed in a recent ESPN report.

Court released a statement about the decision on Tuesday:

Coach Court‼️ @courtstrength

As many of you  know, I resigned yesterday as the head strength coach 4 @TerpsFootball. I wanted 2 thank Coach Durkin & all of my colleagues & players for their support, love & commitment. I am blessed for the relationships I have built and wish nothing but success for our team. https://t.co/llT2HABKUC

Pete Thamel of Yahoo Sports initially reported the news. Per Thamel, Court and the school reached a settlement agreement to end their relationship. Thamel added that the former coach would receive a lump sum of $315,000, which is approximately two-thirds of what remained on his contract.

In the ESPN report, Heather Dinich, Adam Rittenberg and Tom VanHaaren identified Court as a culprit:

"There is a coaching environment based on fear and intimidation. In one example, a player holding a meal while in a meeting had the meal slapped out of his hands in front of the team. At other times, small weights and other objects were thrown in the direction of players when Court was angry."

Among the other alleged incidents were "extreme verbal abuse of players" as well as coaches endorsing unhealthy eating habits.

Nineteen-year-old offensive lineman Jordan McNair died in June after collapsing during an offseason workout on May 29, which ESPN's Heather Dinich reported was the result of heatstroke after his body had registered a temperature of 106 degrees.

Maryland athletic director Damon Evans issued a statement on Tuesday:

Maryland Terrapins @umterps

UMD Athletic Director Damon Evans: We have taken concrete steps, and we will continue to do more. We will honor Jordan’s life and work every single day to provide the safest environment for our student-athletes. https://t.co/WVcufwk36c

According to Don Markus of the Baltimore Sun, Evans and Maryland president Wallace D. Loh Loh met with McNair's parents on Tuesday to "apologize" and to take "legal and moral responsibility" for the mistakes that led to the lineman's death.

Head coach DJ Durkin had already been put on administrative leave, with offensive coordinator Matt Canada taking over. 


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