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University of Maryland to overhaul student-athlete health care system

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This is the Maryland Minute, a short story followed by a roundup of Terps-related news.

damon evans-maryland-athletic director-search-bio Lila Bromberg | Testudo Times

The University of Maryland will introduce a new student-athlete health care model and conduct a national search for a new head team physician to oversee the school’s athletic programs, athletic director Damon Evans announced Thursday.

The new model will be independent of the athletic department, with the new physician chosen instead by the university. The new physician will report to the director of the University Health Center, and from there, the vice president for student affairs and university president. Up until this point, the position has worked under the University of Maryland School of Medicine in Baltimore.

The change was prompted by the last of 20 recommendations made by an external investigation commissioned following the death of football player Jordan McNair in an offseason workout last summer. That report, overseen by athletic trainer Rod Walters, found that the university’s athletic staff did not properly diagnose and treat McNair when he showed signs of heatstroke. When treated properly, death from heatstroke is 100 percent preventable.

“Our priority in the last year has been implementing the recommendations from the external safety review to safeguard the health and well-being of our student-athletes,” Evans said in a press release. “This plan will further enhance the physician-directed, autonomous care our student-athletes receive and advance our efforts to provide comprehensive, integrated, patient-centered care for our student-athletes.”

The new changes won't be implemented until the search is complete, which Evans said could “some time,” according to The Washington Post. In the meantime, the current athletic training model and medical staff will stay the same.

When the changes are made, nutrition and mental health departments will also move under the health center. The center has received a lot of criticism as of late for its handling of an adenovirus outbreak on campus in the fall, which led to the death of freshman Olivia Paregol, as exposed by The Post. Paregol’s family filed a wrongful death lawsuit claim against the university on Wednesday.

In other news

Maryland baseball’s game against Ohio State in the Big Ten Tournament on Thursday night was stopped in the eighth inning due to a thunderstorm and will continue today at 11 a.m. ET.

Maryland women's lacrosse will compete against Northwestern in the NCAA Final Four at approximately 7:30 p.m. ET at Homewood Field in Baltimore. Read Wes’ preview here.

While the women’s team still competes, Maryland men’s lacrosse was knocked out of the NCAA Tournament by Virginia in the second round over a controversial call. Henry explores the possibility of replay review in college lacrosse.

Five Maryland men’s lacrosse players were named USILA All-Americans on Thursday. Jared Bernhardt was named a First Team All-American, Curtis Corley and Bubba Fairman made the third team, while Anthony DeMaio and Logan Wisnauskas received honorable mentions.

Maryland women's soccer coach Ray Leone hired two new assistant coaches on Thursday. Ron Celestin, who was the associate head coach at Northwestern for three years, and Kerry Dziczkaniec has been an assistant at Virginia for 11 seasons.

Maryland track & field’s Jewel Smith secured a bid to the NCAA Championships at the East Preliminaries on Thursday. The meet continues on Friday and Saturday, with several other Terps looking to punch their ticket.

And finally, three of our seniors — Amy Jennings, Thomas Kendziora and Justin Fitzgerald — graduated from the Philip Merrill College of Journalism on Thursday.