Maryland paid tribute to Jordan McNair on its opening offensive play of the season.
After receiving the opening kickoff against Texas, the Terps took the field with just 10 men as a tribute to McNair, an offensive lineman who died in June. Maryland took a delay of game penalty, and Texas, which was aware of the Terps’ plan, declined the penalty.
It was a great moment.
— Big Ten Network (@BigTenNetwork) September 1, 2018
Maryland will honor Jordan McNair throughout the season
McNair collapsed during a May 29 conditioning workout and later died June 13. He was 19 years old.
To honor McNair, the team will wear helmet stickers with No. 79, McNair’s number, for the entirety of the season.
— Maryland Terrapins (@umterps) September 1, 2018
There was a moment of silence for McNair ahead of Saturday’s game, which is being played at FedEx Field, the home of the Washington Redskins. Another moment of silence will be held before the Sept. 15 home opener vs. Temple in College Park.
There are other plans to memorialize McNair, too. Nobody will wear McNair’s No. 79 through the 2020 season, what would have been his senior campaign. When the Terps’ seniors are honored that year on senior day, McNair will be included. Additionally, McNair’s locker in the Gossett football building will be encased in glass and later moved to Cole Field House when the renovations are complete. At Cole Field House, the offensive line meeting room will be named after McNair. One Maryland football student-athlete will be awarded a scholarship in McNair’s name each year.
Maryland launched multiple investigations in the aftermath of McNair’s death
In the weeks and months since McNair’s death, which was caused by heat stroke, Maryland has been alleged to have a “toxic” football culture under head coach D.J. Durkin. That culture was detailed in an ESPN article that included coaches, including strength coach Rick Court (who led the fatal workout), intimidating and verbally abusing players.
McNair, just 19, struggled to stay upright while trying to complete sprints. While McNair struggled, Maryland head athletic trainer Wes Robinson is alleged to have yelled, “Drag his ass across the field!” An attorney for the McNair family said Jordan suffered a seizure and that university training staff did not call 911 for nearly an hour.
In a news conference last month, Maryland president Wallace Loh and athletic director Damon Evans said that the university accepts “legal and moral responsibility for the mistakes” made by the training staff. An investigation into the circumstances around McNair’s death is ongoing, but preliminary results led to the university accepting responsibilty. An additional investigation into the football program is also ongoing.
Durkin, Robinson and director of athletic training Steve Nordwall were all placed on administrative leave while Court resigned. McNair’s parents have called for Durkin to be fired.
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