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What Maryland players, alumni and recruits are saying after reports of player mistreatment

Here’s a roundup of comments from players present, former and future.

maryland football-dj durkin-jordan mcnair-espn-reports-reaction Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

Maryland’s football program is now at the center of controversy after ESPN published reports into the program’s treatment of players under head coach DJ Durkin and the staff’s handling of Jordan McNair at the May 29 practice where the lineman collapsed before dying two weeks later.

How reporters Adam Rittenberg, Heather Dinich and Tom VanHaaren summed up the allegations:

-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 [strength coach Rick] Court was angry.

-The belittling, humiliation and embarrassment of players is common. In one example, a player whom coaches wanted to lose weight was forced to eat candy bars as he was made to watch teammates working out.

-Extreme verbal abuse of players occurs often. Players are routinely the targets of obscenity-laced epithets meant to mock their masculinity when they are unable to complete a workout or weight lift, for example. One player was belittled verbally after passing out during a drill.

-Coaches have endorsed unhealthy eating habits and used food punitively; for example, a player said he was forced to overeat or eat to the point of vomiting.

The report cites two anonymous players and a few anonymous former players, plus former players Malik Jones and J.T. Ventura. It also cites multiple former coaches, and says this about the anonymous players interviewed for the story:

The current players said they had talked with multiple players who described similar views about the team’s culture but feared repercussions if they talked publicly.

We’re here to help you digest it.

Here’s what people close to the program have said publicly since:

What follows are comments from before and after Maryland announced it had placed Durkin on administrative leave.

Keisha Staples, mother of Antoine Brooks, tells the Associated Press that she and a group of about eight players’ parents would like to meet with athletic director Damon Evans to voice their full support for Durkin.

‘’I’m sure not everybody has had the same experience we’ve had, but we have had a good experience,’’ Staples said.

Current players

Tackle Derwin Gray

Receiver Brian Cobbs

Lineman Ellis McKennie

Punter Wade Lees

Running back Jake Funk

Running back Anthony McFarland

Cornerback Kenny Bennett

Cornerback RaVon Davis

Wide receiver DJ Turner

Tight end Chigoziem Okonwko

Safety Raymond Boone

A former off-field assistant:


Running back Jordan Houston

Cornerback Tayvion Land

Linebacker Kameron Blount

Former players

Roman Braglio came to Durkin’s defense in an interview with The Baltimore Sun’s Don Markus.

Torrey Smith

Jermaine Carter Jr.

Cam Chism

AJ Francis

Teldrick Morgan