COLLEGE PARK, Md. — Two University of Maryland athletic trainers who attended to a football player who died after suffering heatstroke at a spring practice are no longer employed there, a university spokeswoman said Wednesday.
The development marks another rebuke of the University System of Maryland’s Board of Regents, a majority of whom had wanted to retain the trainers, according to several people with knowledge of the situation who spoke anonymously to describe confidential conversations and proceedings. In a chaotic series of events last week, the university president fired the head football coach in defiance of the board’s public wishes, after which the board’s chairman resigned.
Late Wednesday afternoon, the board elected a new chairwoman, Linda Gooden, who was already a regent. In a statement, she apologized for the board’s advocating last week that coach D.J. Durkin keep his job, a stance that spurred campus protests, criticism from politicians and national opprobrium.
“While the board’s decision was far from unanimous, and many members voted a different way, everyone on the board now understands that the board’s personnel recommendations were wrong,” she said.
She also offered an apology to the parents and relatives of Jordan McNair, 19, the player who died two weeks after the May practice.
An outside medical report conducted for the university and released in September found that McNair, an offensive lineman, was not cared for appropriately after displaying symptoms of heatstroke during the practice.
The two trainers had been on paid administrative leave since mid-August. While the university has declined to name them, they are widely known to be Wes Robinson, the head football trainer, and Steve Nordwall, an assistant athletic director and director of athletic training.
— New York Times News Service