COLLEGE PARK, Md. – The University of Maryland has parted ways with strength and conditioning coach Rick Court after the death of football player Jordan McNair in June.
The announcement was made during a news conference Tuesday with University of Maryland President Wallace D. Loh and Director of Athletics Damon Evans.
Court, along with other athletic staff members and head couch Dj Durkin, were placed on leave Saturday pending the outcome of a review of McNair’s death.
Tuesday, Evans confirmed that McNair did not receive appropriate medical care, saying that mistakes were made by some of the university’s athletic training personnel.
“The emergency response plan was not appropriately followed…the care we provided was not consistent with best practices…heat illness was not properly identified or treated,” Evans said. “Our athletic training staff did not take Jordan’s temperature and did not apply a cold-water emergence treatment.”
Since McNair’s death, UMD said they have changed the way they practice in the heat. Evans said they have increased breaks and have added more cooling stations.
“We will not tolerate any behavior from any employee within Maryland athletics that is detrimental to the mental or physical being of our student-athletes,” Evans said. “There is nothing more important than our student athlete’s safety.”
President Loh apologized to McNair’s parents.
“I am committed to doing the right thing and I know nothing that we can do will bring closure to their enormous loss,” Loh said. “No Maryland student-athlete will ever be in a situation where his or her life and safety will be at risk, especially when that risk is foreseeable.”
The university is conducting an independent third-party review to fully investigate the football team and McNair’s death.
The final report is expected to be released to the public in September.