ESPN published an article Friday detailing what can only be described as a toxic culture within the Maryland Football program. This stems from the death of Jordan McNair back in June after a football workout. The article details just how head coach DJ Durkin and and Rick Court, head strength and conditioning coach, go about humiliating players to build this culture of intimidation and fear among their players.
In response to the article Maryland has put Durkin on administrative leave, meaning that 29% of Big Ten East football coaches are put on leave and we’re less than a month out from the start of the season. While this situation is WAY worse than the situation in Ohio State because Durkin is allegedly putting his players at risk with dangerous behavior. And yes I say Durkin because even if Rick Court is the one doing the bulk of the bullying and harassment of players Durkin brought him in and continues to employ him.
Why isn’t Court on leave? From what I understood from the ESPN article he was the main culprit of the degrading and dangerous actions against players, so if the university was serious about getting to the bottom of the situation surrounding the program Court would be on leave as well. Especially because Court is a key part of training camp as he is the one in charge of getting players ready to compete on the field and has direct contact with all the players. Durkin may have created the toxic culture but Court is the one enforcing said culture and from all accounts every player hates Court.
On the same account, Court might be the fall guy. Whose to say if Durkin isn’t already spinning the tale that it was in fact Court who was behind the toxic culture? It wouldn’t surprise me if in fact Court if the only one fired and Durkin is allowed to come back because that’s just how it goes sometimes.
So if Maryland is serious about protecting their football program and ensuring that they don’t have mass exodus of players depending on how this plays out, they will clear house and get rid of both Durkin and Court. Anything less is merely a disservice to the players that routinely bring the university large sums of money.