Maryland offensive lineman Jordan McNair’s death on June 13 “was the result of a heatstroke he suffered during an organized offseason team workout,” according to a website launched by McNair’s parents.
This is the first time the cause of McNair’s death has been publicly released. McNair collapsed during a team workout on May 29 and received a liver transplant in the hospital. Research has linked heat stroke and liver failure in otherwise healthy young athletes, and multiple sources told Testudo Times in early June that McNair had suffered a heat stroke.
Formed by Tonya Wilson and Marty McNair in June, the Jordan McNair Foundation’s vision “is to see the number of heat-related illnesses occurring in student athletes significantly reduced,” the site says.
To that end, the Foundation will establish programs and initiatives aimed at:
Prevention: By educating students on the signs and symptoms of heat-related illnesses, we aim to teach students how to know when their body is in distress and when it is time to stop.
Support: For athletes that do suffer heat-related illnesses, the effects can be life-altering. We aim to support recovering athletes and their families by aiding in the mental preparation needed to cope with the impacts of this life changing event. We also endeavor to provide grants to assist with the financial impact and hardships that can result from treatment.
Mobilizing Resources: The Foundation will partner with stakeholders in the medical and athletic community to provide educational literature to students and parents. Additionally, the Foundation will host and participate in events, panel discussions, speaking engagements, and forums for athletic groups, teams, schools, etc.
Scholarship Funding: In addition to promoting awareness and education on heat-related illnesses, the Foundation’s scholarship fund will award educational scholarships to deserving student athletes in Jordan’s memory.
Maryland is still in the middle of an external investigation, which is projected to conclude in September. The investigation was announced by then-interim athletic director Damon Evans in a press conference June 14, and is being conducted by Dr. Rod Walters, a former athletic trainer at South Carolina.
The Maryland football team made summer workouts voluntary following McNair’s death, but announced last week that all players had returned to practice and that fall camp would begin as scheduled Aug. 3.