Report: Commission Says Maryland Didn't Have 'Toxic Culture' Under DJ Durkin

Adam Wells@adamwells1985Featured ColumnistOctober 25, 2018

Maryland head coach DJ Durkin watches the first half of an NCAA college football game against Penn State in College Park, Md., Saturday, Nov. 25, 2017. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
Patrick Semansky/Associated Press

An independent commission has determined that Maryland's football team's culture was not toxic under head coach DJ Durkin.

Per Rick Maese and Keith L. Alexander of the Washington Post, the commission provided the results of their investigation to the University of Maryland Board of Regents on Oct. 19. 

"The commission found that the Maryland football team did not have a 'toxic culture,' but it did have a culture where problems festered because too many players feared speaking out," according to the commission's report.

Nicole Auerbach of The Athletic shared an excerpt from the report, which stated multiple players complained they were shown "disturbing" videos during meal time:

Nicole Auerbach @NicoleAuerbach

... what? https://t.co/BhJKzR0sdi

Per an August report from ESPN.com's Heather Dinich, Adam Rittenberg and Tom VanHaaren, several current Maryland football players and others close to the program said there was a "toxic coaching culture" under Durkin. 

Maryland athletic director Damon Evans said in an open letter in August that Durkin had been placed on administrative leave during the investigation into the death of former offensive lineman Jordan McNair. 

McNair died at age 19 on June 13, two weeks after collapsing during a team practice.

Dinich reported in August that McNair "showed signs of extreme exhaustion, had difficulty standing upright while running a set of 110-yard sprints and was found to have a body temperature of 106 degrees" before dying due to heatstroke. 

The commission also found that Maryland's athletic department during Durkin's tenure "lacked a culture of accountability, did not provide adequate oversight of the football program, and failed to provide Mr. Durkin with the tools, resources, and guidance necessary to support and educate a first-time head coach in a major football conference."

Matt Canada has been serving as Maryland's acting football coach during Durkin's leave. 

Durkin was hired as Maryland's head coach in December 2015. The 40-year-old went 10-15 in his first two seasons with the Terrapins.