The University of Maryland has fired head football athletic trainer Wes Robinson and assistant athletic director of athletic training Steve Nordwall, as first reported by The Washington Post’s Rick Maese.
Maryland’s training staff has been under fire for its handling of offensive lineman Jordan McNair, who suffered exertional heatstroke at a May 29 team workout and died in the hospital June 13. Robinson and Nordwall were placed on administrative leave in August alongside head coach DJ Durkin and strength coach Rick Court (who settled with the school days later).
After both the Walters Inc. investigation into McNair’s death and a lengthy commission report into Maryland football’s culture, the University System of Maryland Board of Regents recommended retaining both Robinson and Nordwall last week. This recommendation was first reported after the Board publicly called for Durkin’s reinstatement, only for him to be fired by school president Wallace Loh one day later. Loh said at a press conference last week that athletic director Damon Evans would determine the trainers’ fate.
According to the Walters report, Nordwall did not report McNair’s condition to the team physician until an hour after McNair began experiencing symptoms of heatstroke. Robinson, meanwhile, was on the field as McNair struggled with 10, 110-yard sprints, reportedly telling two interns to “drag his ass across the field.” Medical experts say heatstroke has a 100 percent survival rate when treated properly.
Robinson had been Maryland football’s head athletic trainer since 2006, when Ralph Friedgen was head coach. (Trainers are hired separately from football coaches, so Robinson served during three different head coaching tenures and never reported directly to the head coach.) Nordwall came to the school in 2014 after a 14-year stint at Eastern Michigan.