Report: Matthew Barber Assaulted by Maryland Teammate over DJ Durkin Saga

Adam Wells@adamwells1985Featured ColumnistNovember 1, 2018

Maryland head coach DJ Durkin walks the sidelines during the first half of the Quick Lane Bowl NCAA college football game against Boston College, Monday, Dec. 26, 2016, in Detroit. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)
Carlos Osorio/Associated Press

Prior to Maryland head coach DJ Durkin getting fired, an altercation reportedly broke out between two football players during practice on Tuesday.

Per Luke Broadwater of The Baltimore Sun, Matthew Barber said he was assaulted by an unnamed teammate. 

"My jersey was bloody," Barber told Broadwater. "I had blood all over my hands."

Barber, Maryland's backup punter, said the team heard he is a "whistle-blower" who talked to investigators about the program's culture under Durkin. 

"We take any matters involving physical altercations extremely seriously," Maryland athletic director Damon Evans said in a statement to Broadwater. "We are talking with the players involved and will take appropriate actions based on the facts."

Maryland's starting punter Wade Lees released a statement claiming the incident was misrepresented: 

Wade Lees @WL_88

My Statement!! https://t.co/0chnHYwuaO

Barber noted the attack left him with a black eye, stitches in his forehead and a dislocated shoulder. Athletic trainers treated his injuries, and he spoke with a campus police officer about the incident. 

The University of Maryland student government association announced a rally to protest Durkin's reinstatement before the school fired him. 

"People are appalled at this," Maryland student body president Jonathan Allen told ESPN.com's Adam Rittenberg. "When I spoke to stakeholders—media, alums, donors—over the last few months, as this has been transpiring, they all said there's no way Durkin comes back from this. And yet he's returning and the president is the one that's leaving?"

Per Rick Maese and Keith L. Alexander of the Washington Post, the independent commission stopped short of calling Maryland's football culture under Durkin toxic, but said the program had "a culture where problems festered because too many players feared speaking out."

Maryland originally reinstated Durkin as head coach on Tuesday following an investigation into the football program's culture after the June death of offensive lineman Jordan McNair stemming from heatstroke he suffered during a team practice.