Anyone familiar with Korey Stringer’s tale had to feel a shudder down their spine upon seeing Jordan McNair’s name on their screens in 2018.
McNair, a redshirt freshman offensive lineman at the University of Maryland, tragically died in the summer of 2018. The college football world mourned McNair’s passing during an off-season workout.
Nearly three years later, the McNair family just reached a settlement with the school.
Jordan McNair tragically died in the summer of 2018
A highly-touted offensive line recruit, Jordan McNair signed with his hometown Maryland Terps in 2017.
McNair chose Maryland over the likes of Ohio State, Penn State, and Rutgers. Standing 6 feet 4 inches and weighing 325 pounds, McNair starred at McDonough School in Owings Mills, Md.
After playing in one game during his freshman year, McNair joined teammates in off-season workouts in May 2018. McNair collapsed during an afternoon practice and suffered a seizure before he was airlifted to a nearby hospital.
The young offensive lineman received an emergency liver transplant and died two weeks later. McNair officially died from heatstroke.
McNair’s death incited massive changes at Maryland
Jordan McNair’s death stunned the college football world and led to massive change at the University of Maryland.
ESPN spent the summer of 2018 investigating the Maryland football program following Jordan McNair’s death.
In August of that year, ESPN published a report which found evidence of a toxic culture created by head coach D.J. Durkin and strength and conditioning coach Rick Court. ESPN reported that the culture’s negative traits included body-shaming, fear and intimidation tactics, and encouraging binge eating among underweight players.
Maryland suspended Court that month, and he resigned almost immediately. The school also suspended Durkin before reinstating him in October.
A day after Durkin’s reinstatement, University President Wallace Loh fired his head coach. Durkin spent 2019 out of college football and served as the Ole Miss Rebels’ co-defensive coordinator last season.
Durkin still held that role at publication.
Maryland also fired two athletic trainers for their roles in the program’s cultural issues. Loh officially stepped down from his role in June 2019.
Jordan McNair’s family just received a $3.5 million settlement
Nearly three years after Jordan McNair’s death, his name popped up in the news again.
The University of Maryland agreed to pay on a $3.5 settlement with McNair’s family. The Athletic published a statement from McNair’s parents, Marty McNair and Tonya Wilson.
“This has been a long and painful fight, but we will attempt to find closure even though this is a wound that will never, ever fully heal. We are focused on honoring Jordan’s legacy so that his death was not in vain.”
The McNair family said they intend to “increase awareness, education, and prevention of all heat-related illnesses.”
Although the Maryland Board of Public Works still has to approve the settlement, The Athletic reported that all parties already signed off and it will become official on January 27.