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Maryland agrees to $3.5 million settlement with family of Jordan McNair

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The Maryland Board of Public Works will consider the settlement Jan. 27.

maryland football-texas-2018-game-recap- score-stats Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

Nearly two and a half years after the tragic death of Jordan McNair, the University of Maryland has agreed on a $3.5 million settlement with his parents, Marty McNair and Tonya Wilson.

The Maryland Board of Public Works is set to review and approve the agreement on Jan. 27, according to a meeting agenda released Friday.

McNair died on June 13, 2018 after collapsing due to a heat stroke during a Maryland football offseason workout that May. The Randallstown, Maryland, native was 19 years old and entering his sophomore season as an offensive lineman for the Terps.

Following his death, ESPN reported allegations of a toxic culture under then-head coach DJ Durkin. Much of this centered around strength and conditioning coach Rick Court, who was one of Durkin’s first hires when he took over the Maryland program in 2015.

Some players said that the program centered around fear and intimidation, much in part to Court, which forced players to push themselves to extreme lengths to complete workouts. Teammates said that McNair had trouble towards the end of the May workout, needing help to complete the 10th sprint.

After the information came out, two external investigations were launched and Durkin was put on administrative leave, leading Matt Canada to take over as interim head coach.

Released in October 2018, one of the investigations found that the Terps’ athletic training staff failed to quickly diagnose and properly treat McNair’s heatstroke symptoms, with more than an hour passing between when he started showing signs of a heat stroke and when 911 was called. The investigation into the culture stated that there were problems and abuses within the program, but they didn’t go as far as toxic.

Durkin was reinstated as head coach shortly after, which prompted a very strong response from players. Some walked out of a meeting, and he was fired a day later. His buyout was $5.5 million.

McNair’s parents established the Jordan McNair foundation after their son’s passing in hopes of preventing further athlete deaths from heat stroke. With the case finally settled, their work continues.